[FoRK] Programming languages, operating systems, despair and anger
jbone at place.org
Thu Nov 12 12:05:20 PST 2009
> What you describe is a massive undertaking - and one rife with
> problems that when resolved result is a mess of not quite right
And one that has mostly been done, pretty well -- cf. the
aforementioned Rebol. While almost everything else out there is a
"language for the 80s conceived in the 90s" Rebol is a language for
the teens conceived in the 90s.
It's just unfortunately crippled by lots of other baggage. But it's
been out there for a decade now, the strength and utility of its novel
ideas should be patently obvious to anyone, and it's only the myopic
enterprise-developer (rather than the improvisational duct-tape
programmer) that fails to instantly recognize this. So why haven't
the damn language geeks figured this shit out?
Other promising contenders, hobbled for other reasons: PowerShell
(.Net is ghastly, and it shows through) and arc (still too religiously-
lispy to get behind the kind of strict literalism Rebol initiates and
I am endorsing.) Erlang is good for what it is (a language for the
90s designed in the 80s and 90s, finding use in the late-Oughts) but
it's just a DSL for join calculus and large-scale systems-building.
Syntactically a mess, but at least it has symbols --- but bad for much
of the kind of stuff many of us do in terms of data-wrangling. Other
almost-contenders litter the roadside of development: FiSH (both of
them), various Logos, Shoes (DAMN WTLS!), Pluvo, etc. all promising,
never to realize their potential. Various analytical DSLs --- R comes
to mine --- absolutely *shine* but fail to generalize enough beyond
their niche. Etc...
Don't BS me about what a "massive" undertaking this is. It's
obviously do-able, there are 80% existence proofs. It's just that
none of them cover enough of the set of disjoint use cases to get
enough traction --- *or* they fail the adoption test for non-technical
> Your platonic ideals will not help you here.
Let's not be rude. As previously discussed, I sit far closer to the
Epicurean end of that false one-dimensional landscape than the
Platonic. But not even that anymore, so much, really.
More information about the FoRK