Linked by snydeq on Sun 11th Dec 2011 01:35 UTC
General Development Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister writes in favor of new programming languages given the difficulty of upgrading existing, popular languages. 'Whenever a new programming language is announced, a certain segment of the developer population always rolls its eyes and groans that we have quite enough to choose from already,' McAllister writes. 'But once a language reaches a certain tipping point of popularity, overhauling it to include support for new features, paradigms, and patterns is easier said than done.' PHP 6, Perl 6, Python 3, ECMAScript 4 -- 'the lesson from all of these examples is clear: Programming languages move slowly, and the more popular a language is, the slower it moves. It is far, far easier to create a new language from whole cloth than it is to convince the existing user base of a popular language to accept radical changes.'
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Comment by pepper
by pepper on Sun 11th Dec 2011 21:36 UTC
pepper
Member since:
2007-09-18

"once a language reaches a certain tipping point of popularity, overhauling it to include support for new features, paradigms, and patterns is easier said than done"

Hm...what about Lisp style languages? The core is very simple and generic, and it is easy and efficiently extensible to support all the features of modern programming languages. And the result can be as fast as C/C++. From what I can see, Lisp is the king of DSLs, and there is no need to redesign everything all the time, just copy and improve macros to meet your current requirements.

Where other languages are build like a cathedral, monolithic and extensible only in ways that look distinctively different from the core language, Lisp is a bazaar where you can add and remove language capabilities as needed.

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