[Python-ideas] Modern language design survey for "assign and compare" statements

Chris Angelico rosuav at gmail.com
Mon May 21 15:11:57 EDT 2018

On Tue, May 22, 2018 at 2:43 AM, Mike Miller <python-ideas at mgmiller.net> wrote:
> To clarify there were three main criteria, and one minor.  Newer,
> popular/becoming industry standard, and designed to address shortcomings in
> previous generations.  Finally, the limit of my energy when already working
> on a project.

Note how not one of your criteria says that the language has to have
made the right choice - only that it's made a DIFFERENT choice to
languages in a previous generation. So you're heavily selecting in
favour of languages that say "hey look, we know better than everyone
else does", without actually proving that it's better. There's no
shortage of language designers who say "oh look how terrible C is",
and when a language designer has a lot of clout behind him (like "apps
for this new mobile phone should be written using this language"), it
can get extremely popular among people who don't actually have much
choice of language - and certainly don't have the option to use C.

Much more useful would be to look at languages that (a) work in a
field where programmers have ample freedom to choose between
languages, and (b) have been around long enough to actually
demonstrate that people want to use them. Look through the Stack
Overflow Developer Survey's report on languages:


A "Wanted" language is one that many developers say "I don't currently
use, but I would like to". (It may also be a language that has
murdered semicolons. I believe the bounty on JavaScript's head is
quite high now.) Go through that list and you'll get an idea of what
people wish they could use; then toss out anything that hasn't been
around for at least 10 years, because there's a tendency for new
technologies to be over-represented in a "Wanted" listing (partly
because fewer programmers already know them, and partly because people
want to try the latest toys). That may give you a better list of
languages to compare against.


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