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  • by gimbal (5300) on 2004.09.14 3:27 (#34321) Homepage
    This begs an obvious question: if they solved these problems so long ago, why are they viewed primarily as academic languages?

    FWIW, some guesses, on that:

    Reputation would be the start of it, there.

    Lack of publicity might be another part of it.

    There may even be some cases (rare, perhaps, but perhaps possible) of "self doubt" (or "language doubt"?), among any users of said languages. I do not mean any sort of an odd joke by that, though; if it would be so, then it may be another matter hearkening back to reputation - really, of perceptions in the social sphere, which may exist around any languages or around any other tools or techniques.

    So why aren't they used more? I suspect that part of it has to do with how "foreign" they are to most people's thinking.

    Heh, I'll avoid jerking my knee about what might be regarded, but too-lightly, as if it was an accusation that Smalltalk or LISP would be foreign to most people's thinking.

    As to the why of it, there: I could try to explain it away, myself, and not even succeed.

    For the other half of my 1.9 cents, though:

    • I've supposed, for one, that maybe not so many colleges are necessarily teaching said languages,
    • and not necessarily so many employers are necessarily looking for people who know how to use said languages;
    • comparatively, not so many applications are being coded in said languages, to-date.
    • Furthermore - in regards to LISP, now, perhaps as an example - there is not necessarily any Sun Microsystems of LISP (as there is, or at least was, for Java),
    • and there is not necessarily any "hacker appeal" about LISP - noting, again, "reputation" here, beside any questions in regards to "ease of use"

    Now, perhaps to smash any doubt about it: Myself, I would neither think nor would I encourage anyone else to think as if there was any "anti-{LISP, Smalltalk} smear campaign" going around, or anything like it; I doubt that anyone else would really think as so, either. "If {LISP, Smalltalk} is useful, and yet has been commonly overlooked, then that may just be a quaint accident."

    Those of us who use said languages, and who derive any sense of benefit or general usefulness about them, I'd guess we're all generally content with 'em.

    Now - while meaning no slight about C or else - I might wonder how many folks are quite content, themselves, with the languages that they've been sticking with. (For example, I've picked up an impression that maybe not so many people do really enjoy using C, though, evidently, very many people do use C. It is, quite so, a popular language.)

    and, hey, in the end, there is a variety of languages, and "there's more than one way to do it", yah?