Python popularity crosspost

Anthony_Barker anthony_barker at
Tue Mar 18 23:05:55 CET 2003

There is a thread from the ocaml mailing list which may be of

It is an answer to the question: Ocaml is fast ..etc why isn't it more
I believe most of today's mainstream language kick started their
popularity with a killer app :

   C was once the only language you could hack Unix with
   Java had web applets
   Perl had regular expressions
   Visual Basic had that really nice beginner-friendly dialog box
   PHP does server side web page generation.
   Tcl had Tk

We could strive to find (or develop) something ocaml can do that
be done with any other mainstream language. Or, alternatively,
that is an order or two faster in ocaml than in any other language. So
easy in fact, that the time time saved on a single project offsets the
time cost of learning the rudiments ocaml [*]. 

While writing these lines reminds me of Todd Proebsting's presentation
at LL2.
Among other things, he offered a starter list of domains which are
begging for better support at the programming language level. If only
could nail one of them solid...

One other unrelated observation on language acceptance:

In the the industry, they accept new languages as their IDE become
usable. Somehow, a solid IDE has become the sign that the language
matured and is now stable enough for industrial usage. Also, by their
own account, industrial coders spent so much time in VC++, they are
IDE-dependent. IDE in this context means one-key compilation,
jumps between name usages and definitions, and a tree overview of the
components of the project, context sensitive work completion and
sensitive help, etc. Ocaml would gain at having an official IDE
which implement these features.

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