The Industry choice

Alan Gauld alan.gauld at
Sat Jan 1 18:18:58 EST 2005

On Sat, 01 Jan 2005 16:08:07 GMT, claird at (Cameron
Laird) wrote:

> I argue that it's a false opposition to categorize projects in
> terms of use of single languages.  Many projects are MUCH better
> off with a mix 

In practice I have *never* worked on an industrial scale project
that only used one language. The nearest I came was a small
protocol convertor that only used C, SQL and some shell and 
awk - but that's still 4 languages! And the whole project was
only 40,000 lines of code in about 20 files.

And most projects use many more, I'd guess around 5-8 on an
"average project" of around 300-500kloc. The biggest project I
worked on had about 3.5Mloc and used:

Assembler (680x0 and Sparc),
Bourne shell
C shell - this was a mistake discovered too late to "fix"
???? - A UI description language for a tool called TeleUse...
Pascal - No, I don't know why...
ASN.1 - with a commercial compiler

We also had some IDL but since it was tool generated I'll ignore

We also had an experimental version running on a NeXt box so it
used Objective C for the UI instead of ???? and C++...

A total of 13 languages... with 5 geographically dispersed teams
comprising a total of 200 developers (plus about 40 testers).
Interesting the Chinese sense!

Alan G
Author of the Learn to Program website

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