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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Many of the most interesting and important C++ applications are not noticed, they are not for sale to the public as programming products, and their implementation language is never mentioned.

    And he knows

    • Because you can do more in C++ than write a weblog in ten minutes?

      I kid, I kid. I talked to Tom Love yesterday (co-creator of Objective-C), and he told me that the Department of Veterans Affairs has a huge system written in MUMPS []. There's a huge amount of software no one outside the company or industry ever hears about.

      • by djberg96 (2603) on 2008.12.18 17:47 (#66542) Journal
        That maybe so, but it doesn't really deal with the question. However, I think the "Is language X dying" is the wrong question. Most languages never really die. Hell, look at COBOL. It'll be around after we're dead and buried I'm sure. So will C++ and Perl, for that matter.

        The right question is "Is language X thriving?". In the case of C++ the general vibe I get is that it's stagnating, continuing on in hardcore backend systems that most people never discuss as you say, but not gaining much traction in terms of mindshare among new programmers or programmers switching languages. But really, I'm guessing. And, hey, Rubinius is using C++! And so is Haiku, but nevermind that.

        So, how do you know if a language is thriving? Beyond the web hype, there's book sales and new (commercial) 3rd party tools being actively developed for it. You, of course, have access to book sales, and that's a far, far better indicator than Tiobe IMHO. In fact, it would be _awesome_ if O'Reilly would publish those numbers monthly. (Or do you? I've seen a few scattered posts, but nothing regular).

        • Sales numbers tell part of the story, but they're a source of contention even within O'Reilly. They can give a good indicator of growth of interest in a subject area, but I'm skeptical about how much information we can glean about the lessening of interest in a subject area.

          You have to measure the age of a book, the total unit sales for a book across its lifetime, and the point in the life cycle of a topic. The former matters because most books have their strongest sales in the first year. After that, ph