[bitc-dev] White space

Ben Kloosterman bklooste at gmail.com
Sun Aug 8 23:58:48 PDT 2010


>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[3].

I program mainly in C# but also quite a lot in C, C++ and Ocaml and have
managed a embedded dev team (C++)  . My concern is not for myself but the
normal programmers I have worked with  , most of them just don't care about
the language they write it as long as they get a pay check . Getting these
people to not just use  a new language but use it productively is a major
issue and the closer you are to what Is familiar the better the chances of
success. 

Why do all the young programmers program Java /PHP and the old ones (exp
embedded) are C++ and older still Cobol ? Because B type programmers don't
change much and people are hired with the skills already , often from a Uni
course.  Cobol is more popular than any of those programming languages how
many young people learn it ? 

And please note nowhere did I state GC or  introducing functional
programming is a bad thing , I'm just saying for the widest and easiest
adoption languages close to C and English do best and to go gentle ....Large
scale adoption means better compilers , tools and is self reinforcing.   If
C# and Java could do embedded development , then more than half of the C/C++
dev teams would change. 
 
 >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++.

The vast majority of developers I have met are experienced in only a single
language ( though they may know a few from Unie )  and unwilling to change.
I suppose the real Q is  whether BitC is focusing on challenging Erlang and
other functional languages in the system/embedded space or is it looking to
convert C/C++ devs ? C , C# , Java and C++ derivatives are probably 50-60%
of  programming and most of the rest is scripting PHP , Python etc.   C and
C++ are in need of replacement,  it seems to leave a huge audience if you
just target functional System programmers.  

A language making 1 % is no big deal as they say in that thread Cobol still
has more  ,and if you rise up to 1% and then start falling I don't think the
language can be perceived as successful. 

Ben 
 



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