Prothon 0.1.2 is getting close to Alpha [Prothon]

David MacQuigg dmq at
Sun Jul 11 00:51:14 CEST 2004

On Sat, 10 Jul 2004 12:03:41 -0700, "Mark Hahn" <mark at>

>David MacQuigg wrote:
>> I don't see Python as the ultimate programming language, but it is
>> close enough that it is not worth the cost of switching to a perfect
>> language.  The outcome I would most like to see is that Python 3
>> adopts some of the changes we see in Prothon (and a few from Ruby).
>David, long time no read.  Have you noticed that Prothon is ending up with a
>lot of the things you wanted? The with statement now works your way plus a
>number of other things.

Yes, I am very pleased by the changes in the last few months.  The
explicit binding syntax is excellent.  That removes the objection I
had to making the language classless.  I also like the greatly
simplified scope rules.

My big problem remains all the "non-language" defiencies - libraries,
textbooks, support community, etc.  For this to happen it has to be an
easy jump for Python programmers.  The benefits of removing a bunch of
minor flaws in Python will have to exceed the cost of migration.

Maybe your approach is right -- go for the perfect syntax first, build
a core of strong supporters, then in the second release decide how
much compromise you are willing to make to bring in the larger Python
community.  Even at that point it will be easier for Prothon to make
radical changes.  And you won't have to waste time on arguments about
whether something is syntactically impossible.

I just updated my language popularity table, showing the number of
projects in each language on SourceForge:

Date		C++	Java	Perl	Python	Ruby	Prothon
------		------	------	------	------	------	------
11/25/2002			4026	1994		
4/3/2004	13148	11660	5441	3120	289	
7/10/2004	13261	12137	5317	3236	303	

What'even more interesting is the growth rate (percent per year):
495				25.9%	41.6%		
98		3.2%	15.2%	-8.5%	13.8%	18.0%	

Looks like Ruby, Java, and Python are growing the fastest, although
the numbers on Ruby are too small to put a lot of faith in the stats.
Python's growth is starting to level off.  C++ is stationary, and Perl
is in decline!!

If I were you, I would think about where Prothon should be in this
matrix five years from now, and maybe modify your mission statement to
address the issues that will make it happen.  Ruby has been out for
nine years now, and in spite of the high growth rate, and the pride of
all Japan, it just doesn't seem to be going anywhere.  They can't even
get their Windows installer to share the machine with Python.  The
"critical mass" for a language seems to be somewhere between Ruby and
Python.  Anything less, and eventually it will die.

-- Dave

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