Is Python Dead? Long Live Python!
peter at engcorp.com
Fri Jul 13 03:00:44 CEST 2001
Kemp Randy-W18971 wrote:
> There is a good test of how popular something is.
I'm not convinced this is really a good test...
> Walk into a big book store that carries technical books (Border's is an
> example in the US), or a web outlet like www.amazon.com. Count how many
> books are on a topic: Perl, Java, Python, Ruby, PHP, ASP, etc. It may not
> be foolproof, but it is a good start.
Let's consider the case of two hypothetical languages.
One of them was designed by someone with extensive language design
background and an innate good sense of design. It was easy to learn
and apply and well-supported by a friendly newsgroup, etc. (not
thinking of any particular language here... this is just a hypothetical
case, remember :-). The language was mature, with a strong,
established and mostly content user base which was growing steadily.
The other language was a twisted hodge-podge of braces and Perlishness
built on a poor design with only a very limited field of application in
mind, by someone fresh out of university and with relatively little
language design in his background (and, if not poor design sense,
then poor taste in choice of starting point). Luckily, however,
the language struck a chord with a frenzied population of web-meisters
and script kiddies who up until now were limited to writing code in
almost overnight. Unfortunately as a result of the language's design,
it was difficult for new programmers to learn, and because of its
limitations it was very difficult for those programmers to apply it
outside of its narrow niche without assistance.
I think it would be reasonable to assume that a much larger number
of books (and I mean those big, thick books that Philip Greenspun
derides so well in http://philip.greenspun.com/wtr/dead-trees/story.html)
would be written about the second language than the first.
The users of the first would have most of their needs met by the
online information available, and the incredible ease of learning
the language or of applying it in diverse areas.
Publishers can smell this and would not put their efforts into
tree-killing for the second language. Entire forests, however,
would be slaughtered in the name of the second language, to buy
Mercedes automobiles for the publishing executives.
Hypothetically speaking, of course. ;)
Peter Hansen, P.Eng.
peter at engcorp.com
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