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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RE: Browser languages
by snowbender on Sun 11th Dec 2011 10:12 UTC in reply to "Browser languages"
snowbender
Member since:
2006-05-04

I like what you say. Browsers should natively support the execution of a certain type of bytecode, and come with a standard library. Instead of specifying that a browser support this version of JavaScript, we would just say that it supports this version of the bytecode, and this version of a standard library.

That way, anyone is free to write a compiler from his favorite language to bytecode that is supported on a browser.

The thing that bothers me, is that JavaScript is a language that is very hard to execute efficiently. And in the beginning when JavaScript was used for very simple stuff, that was fine. Nowadays, people try to build full-blown desktop applications in the browser, and the result is that so much time and energy is put into trying to execute JavaScript efficiently.

Can you imagine where we would be right now, if in the beginning one would have supported a specific bytecode set instead of JavaScript? In a way, nowadays we actually do use "JavaScript" as some kind of intermediate code (not really bytecode, but close) with for example GWT that just compiles Java code into JavaScript code: going from a language that as of today can be executed very efficiently into something that is hard to execute efficiently, and then trying to optimise the hard-to-optimise JavaScript.

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