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God Wills It!

Posted by , 15 April 2006 · 178 views

Well, if there's one thing every new Spiritual Convert needs, it's a good Crusade to fight for.

As a Newly Reformed Smug Lisp Weenie, I feel it is my deep responsibility to the Faith to join a Crusade. The thing is, I'm too lazy to see what Crusades are currently being fought, and I justify my laziness by telling myself I probably wouldn't want to fight for those Crusades anyways. So it's easier just to start my own. This also happens to dovetail nicely with my Ulterior Motives, i.e. the Epoch language project.

I've been reading up some more on what people are thinking The Next Big Language will be. It seems there's a generally widespread opinion that The Next Big Language is going to have to come from a major corporation like Microsoft or Sun. Maybe there's some dissent, but the only really well-argued stuff I've seen (so far) basically agrees that grassroots language revolutions will just take too long to gather critical mass. They might have great languages, but they won't be The Next Big One because they lack massive support and hype.

Hype and push from a Very Wealthy Corporation can take even a miserably poor language (read: Java) and turn it into a phenomenon. Conversely, really good languages (like the Lisp family, the ML family, and so on) are not going anywhere, even though they blow away other languages by a huge margin.

It seems that there's this sort of pervasive argument going on here. The argument basically observes that Lisp hasn't taken over the world, and Java (the language, not the platform) sucks and has more or less taken over the world because of marketing from Sun (and, to a lesser degree, Microsoft). The argument then concludes that, in light of these observations, The Next Big Language will have to come from A Really Big Company. Or maybe it will be Ruby, but probably it'll come from A Really Big Company.

I think this is bogus.

In fact, I think the Next Big Language will come from somewhere else. I think it will appear in a very grassroots way, and blindside the traditional Language Creation/Adoption Pipeline. I think that a highly pragmatic approach just might change the way we think of how programming languages grow.

I kind of waxed rhetorical at the end, but you can read my schemes (hehe, a Lisp pun! I'm such a clever little disciple) over in the Epoch thread, specifically at this post.

I honestly think the next big language is going to be Python. Look at the Web 2.0 idiot hysteria over Ruby... Python is a really excellent language and it can extend C/C++ flawlessly.

Also, I tend not to get my programming languages from system vendors, which is probably a practice everyone should get into.

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