Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments
NOTE: use Perl; is on undef hiatus. You can read content, but you can't post it. More info will be forthcoming forthcomingly.

All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
 Full
 Abbreviated
 Hidden
More | Login | Reply
Loading... please wait.
  • Here's my theory, which I just *know* you're dying to hear:
    • Advertising. Head to your local bookstore. See the number of Perl and Java books? Now, do you see any Scheme or Smalltalk books? Many people have simply never heard of them, or only heard of them in passing.
    • Difficulty. One can read Learning Perl and have a basic grasp on the language in a very short period of time. I don't think the same can be said of Smalltalk or Scheme, at least not for your average hacker.
    • Syntax. Smalltalk's syntax is
    • I don't think any of these fully explain why Smalltalk/Scheme/whatever didn't catch on in the first place (though they would explain why it is so hard for them to catch up after other langauges took root). For instance, if Scheme was a more popular language, you would likely see a lot more Scheme books.

      I also suspect the "Difficulty" and "Syntax" reasons are non-issues if functional languages were people's first exposure to programming. LOGO, for instance, has a functional syntax and has been used to teac

      • I don't think any of these fully explain why Smalltalk/Scheme/whatever didn't catch on in the first place

        True enough.

        I also suspect the "Difficulty" and "Syntax" reasons are non-issues if functional languages were people's first exposure to programming.

        That's a pretty steep precondition for most programmers. The vast majority of programmers today did not use a functional language when first exposed to programming. The switch from an ALGOL derivative syntax and programming model to something fu

        • by Ovid (2709) on 2004.09.15 10:05 (#34360) Homepage Journal

          I agree about the steep precondition. I still remember coming from BASIC to C in the 80s. I struggled to understand how someone could program without line numbers. Even though I agree with the premise that languages such as SmallTalk and Scheme would not seem so alien if these were the first languages that people were exposed to, the reality is that they are not the first language and they're unlikely to become that. Hence, we have a chicken and egg problem that is essentially unsolveable from this approach.

          Proponents of those languages are going to have a hard time promoting them unless they can "unscare" programmers. I suspect that Paul Graham has had a moderate amount of success attracting people to Lisp due to his efforts. I know that I looked into Lisp as a result -- but I never followed up because I had no opportunity to apply it in a real-world setting.