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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"Better" vs. Better
by Brendan on Sun 11th Dec 2011 04:50 UTC
Brendan
Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

Just because something is "better" doesn't mean it justifies the costs involved with changing from existing working solutions (developing new tools, retraining programmers, remembering a wide variety of different languages just to be able to maintain old code, etc).

To actually be better (rather than just "better"), something needs to be so much better that the costs of change is justified.

Existing languages aren't perfect, but they are "good enough". Slightly better is possible, but so much better that it's worth changing is (almost?) impossible.

Basically, new languages are advocated by (and adopted by) short-sighted morons - people who only see "better" and fail to recognise or account for the costs of change they inflict on their peers and the industry as a whole. These people need to be hunted down and forced to pay for what they have done. ;)

- Brendan

Reply Score: 3

RE: "Better" vs. Better
by lucas_maximus on Sun 11th Dec 2011 11:54 in reply to ""Better" vs. Better"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Totally agree, You should never do a rewrite on a piece of software because you instantly lose years worth of effort.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: "Better" vs. Better
by ilovebeer on Sun 11th Dec 2011 17:54 in reply to "RE: "Better" vs. Better"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

Totally agree, You should never do a rewrite on a piece of software because you instantly lose years worth of effort.

If all those years of effort took the software in the wrong direction and wound up crippling it more than helping it for future expansion, then yes, a complete rewrite is certainly the better option.

There's one constant that you should always consider as much as possible -- progression. If you want your language to survive the test of time, it not only needs to be good, it needs to be expandable/extendable. That is a key element in it's basic design. If you ignore it, you will pay the price later.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: "Better" vs. Better
by juzzlin on Mon 12th Dec 2011 12:18 in reply to ""Better" vs. Better"
juzzlin Member since:
2011-05-06

Just because something is "better" doesn't mean it justifies the costs involved with changing from existing working solutions (developing new tools, retraining programmers, remembering a wide variety of different languages just to be able to maintain old code, etc).


I can't agree more ;) There are also a number of great application frameworks build on top of certain widely-used languages.

Reply Parent Score: 1