Friday, September 2, 2011

Another one bites the dust

A few days ago I found an interesting post on Ken Shirriff's blog, entitled Why your favourite language is unpopular. It summarizes a talk by Erik Meijer who provided a simple, yet very accurate, explanation why some programming languages gain popularity, while some other (often better in many aspects) don't. I thought about this formula in context of Reia, a very promising language for Erlang platform I mentioned about back in 2008 in my post Scripting Erlang. The author of Reia has just announced that he drops development of Reia in favour of Elixir. It seems that with the amount of software existing today there is very little space for another programming language, even if it addresses problems hard to solve with mainstream languages. With existing army of programmers at its disposal, the IT industry can deal with most of its problems using existing tools, without the need of inventing another language to rule them all. A good example of such philosophy is Cilk Plus, which originates from Cilk and allows to scale C/C++ code easily on multicore CPUs. With Cilk you can improve your existing software without rewriting it from scratch with a new computer language, which in the long run can create more problems than it actually solves.

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