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Re: Comparing languages

by dragonchild (Archbishop)
on Oct 21, 2005 at 13:50 UTC ( #501993=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Comparing languages

The only useful metric of a language (or any other tool, for that matter) is how well can you/your team get your project done with that tool. Period, end of story. Remember - every programming language is Turing-complete, so anything you can write in one language, you can write in another.

A few illustrations - ASM is a perfectly good fit for some projects, because of what that project's requirements are. COBOL can be a perfect fit. I know several excellent programs where the developer(s) chose to use languages like Fortran over C/C++/etc, because of the problemspace.

Me? I use Perl, both because I'm good at it and because it's a good fit for the problemspaces I usually work in. I also use Javascript a lot, for the same reasons.

As for Lisp, I think that Lisp has the best set of codepoints for all projects, because you get to define how Lisp is going to work for your project in a way that few other languages can do.

Another thing to think about - some languages are endoskeletal (C/C++/Fortran) and others are exoskeletal (Perl, Ruby, SQL, HTML). If a language is endoskeletal, the programmer has to do more work, but the program can work without the framework needed to build it. If a language is exoskeletal, the programmer does less work, but with the restriction that the framework must be available.

Here's yet another thought - Perl5 can be considered a minilanguage within a C program. Does that change your viewpoint?

My criteria for good software:
  1. Does it work?
  2. Can someone else come in, make a change, and be reasonably certain no bugs were introduced?

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Re^2: Comparing languages
by aufflick (Deacon) on Oct 21, 2005 at 23:18 UTC
    I really like your exo/endo-sekeletal idea. It would be great to start using that terminology instead of scripting versus compiled (which is often used to make exactly the differentiation that you more clearly state).

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