Python popularity crosspost

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


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

http://groups.google.ca/groups?q=g:thl2093231537d&dq=&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&selm=fa.bk3st1d.rmudq5%40ifi.uio.no

It is an answer to the question: Ocaml is fast ..etc why isn't it more
popular?
<snip>
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
editor
   PHP does server side web page generation.
   Tcl had Tk

We could strive to find (or develop) something ocaml can do that
cannot
be done with any other mainstream language. Or, alternatively,
something
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. 
    http://ll2.ai.mit.edu/talks/proebsting.ppt
Among other things, he offered a starter list of domains which are
begging for better support at the programming language level. If only
we
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
now
IDE-dependent. IDE in this context means one-key compilation,
hypertext
jumps between name usages and definitions, and a tree overview of the
components of the project, context sensitive work completion and
context
sensitive help, etc. Ocaml would gain at having an official IDE
project
which implement these features.
</snip>




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