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Programming language

| 🗖 nosplit | ↑ parent "Software" | words: 581 | descendant words: 4k | descendants: 67
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A language that allows you to talk and command a computer.
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There is only space for two languages at most in the world: the compiled one, and the interpreted one.
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For 2020 now, when you have a choice, you must go for:
  • Python as the interpreted one
  • C++ for compiled
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Those two are languages not by any means perfect from a language design point of view, and there are likely already better alternatives, they are only chosen due to a pragmatic tradeoff between ecosystem and familiarity.
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Python in particular has a lot of annoying stuff, which other languages do better. Ciro predicts that Python will become like Fortran in the future: a legacy hated by most who have moved to JavaScript long ago, but with too much dominance in certain applications like machine learning to be worth replacing, like Fortran dominates certain HPC applications.
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C++ however is decent, and is evolving in very good directions in the 2010's, and will remain relevant in the foreseeable future.
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Bash can also be used when you're lazy. But if the project goes on, you will sooner or later regret that choice.
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The language syntax in itself does not matter. All that matters is how many useful libraries and tooling it has.
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This is how other languages compare:
  • C: but cannot make a large codebase DRY without insanity
  • Ruby: the exact same as Python, and only strong in one domain: web, while Python rules everything else, and is not bad on web either. So just kill Ruby, please.
  • JavaScript: it is totally fine if NodeJS destroys Python and becomes the ONE scripting language to rule them all since Python and JavaScript are almost equally crappy (although JavaScript is a bit more of course).
    One thing must be said tough: someobject.not_defined_property silently returning undefined rather than blowing up is bullshit
  • java: good language, but has an ugly enterprisey ecosystem, Oracle has made / kept the development process too closed, and API patenting madness on Android just kills if off completely
  • Haskell: many have tried to learn some functional stuff, but too hard. Sounds really cool though.
  • Rust: sounds cool, you will gladly replace C and C++ with it if the ecosystem ramps up.
  • Go: likely a good replacement for Python. If the ecosystem gets there, you will gladly use it more.
  • C#: Microsoft is evil
  • Tcl, Perl: Python killed them way back and is less insane
  • R, GNU Octave and any other "numerical computing language": all of this is a waste of society's time as explained at: Section "Numerical computing language"
  • Swift: Ciro would rather stay away from Apple Inc. dominated projects if possible since they sell a closed source operating system
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Ancestors

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