[bitc-dev] White space
wren ng thornton
wren at freegeek.org
Sun Aug 8 21:56:32 PDT 2010
Ben Kloosterman wrote:
> I would be cautious with BitC , firstly the name but also when the audience
> will be embedded , driver and system developers which is very much C and
Again, embedded programming has a large following in the functional
programming community--- especially distributed embedded programming.
Just to pick a glaring example: Erlang, designed by Ericsson for
distributed, fault-tolerant, soft-real-time, non-stop applications.
Erlang is now one of the most popular functional languages in its own
right, even outside of programming cellphones.
To say nothing of recent wireless sensor network projects like Flask
which is based on functional reactive programming, or DSN which is
based on Datalog (and logic programming isn't that different than
functional programming). Let alone a certain inventor of BitC ;)
> For many of the audience functional programming is
> already a difficult leap , go gentle , a lot of programmers out there are
> not researchers or even have a degree and it took years for many to go from
> VB to VB.NET and grasp some OO concepts .
If VB programmers were the intended audience, then I would agree.
However, given how popular functional programming already is in the
embedded world, as well the number of functional programmers working on
systems development, I cannot help but attribute your bias to the same
C/C++ jingoism I hear spouted every time a new language shows up which
corrects the faulty designs of the 1970s.
Supposedly Java would never amount to anything because automatic garbage
collection was too inefficient for "real" programmers; now Java is
considered isomorphic to C++. Supposedly Ruby would never amount to
anything because it uses an object model based off Smalltalk instead of
struct-based programming in C. Before Ruby, much the same was said about
Python. Now, Python's considered isomorphic to Java. Meanwhile, such
outre languages as Erlang, Haskell, and Scala are doing just fine for
themselves. At least one in 230 IT jobs in the UK is using one of those
three frightening languages.
Yes, BitC should try to go gently on its intended audience. I could be
wrong, but I don't get the impression that audience is programmers
who've never moved beyond C++.
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