Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 28th Jul 2013 14:06 UTC
General Development "There is a reason I use 'old' languages like J or Lush. It's not a retro affectation; I save that for my suits. These languages are designed better than modern ones. There is some survivor bias here; nobody slings PL/1 or Cobol willingly, but modern language and package designers don't seem to learn much from the masters. Modern code monkeys don't even recognize mastery; mastery is measured in dollars or number of users, which is a poor substitute for distinguishing between what is good and what is dumb. Lady Gaga made more money than Beethoven, but, like, so what?" This isn't just a thing among programmers. The entire industry is obsessed with user numbers, number of applications, and other crap that is meaningless when you consider programming to be art. When I post a new item about some small hobby operating system, the comments will be filled with negativity because it's no Windows or iOS, whereas only ten years ago, we'd have lively discussions about the implementation details. And then people wonder why that scene has died out.
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Wrong domain
by whartung on Mon 29th Jul 2013 17:10 UTC
whartung
Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm sure those languages are fine.

The primary issue is that that vast majority of programming today is not in the domain those languages specialize in. Most folks don't do monster array or numeric processing.

Most folks are working on applications that are little more sophisticated than an address list, and then automating workflows there were once achieved by pink, blue and mustard copies of forms.

The primary domain of computing today is shoving stuff in to a persistent store and spitting in back out in a different order. The individual points of logic are themselves simple, it's the sequencing and transformations that are arbitrary and inconsistent and follow rote procedure since many of these processes are mandated by human endeavors or, even worse and more arbitrary, written law.

Despite the rise of general purpose computing and the size of the populations involved in working different problems, if you are deeply involved in a particular domain where these languages happen to have savant like capabilities, then you will have encountered them, perhaps evaluated them, and then either adopted or discarded them.

The Lisp Machines died for a reason, overtaken and left behind by general purpose processors. Specialized languages suffer similar fates -- excelling in shrinking domains as general purpose system become more and more capable.

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