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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Joel alludes to this, but I wonder if part of the growth of functional languages will be that they're much easier to optimize for concurrency than languages with side effects.

    • by ziggy (25) on 2006.08.01 21:42 (#49139) Journal
      I can't speak for Joel, but in my experience, a big reason why the wave is hitting now instead of 10 or 20 years ago, is because Moore's law has finally crossed some barrier that makes these languages workable.

      Take ghc, for example. On my 4-year old G3, ghc 6.4.2 took about 14 hours to bootstrap. gcc, by comparsion might take as much as an hour or two to do a full 3-stage bootstrap (vs. ghc's 1.5/2 stages). Also, on a "simple" Haskell program, there is a noticable amount of time to compile (either to produce .o files or load into the interpreter). Nevertheless, that's a small price to pay to get high productivity and terse programs.

      Another issue that there's an expectation that as languages evolve, we get ever increasing productivity. There's little more that object-oriented languages can offer; dynamic languages have a little steam left in them, but not a 2x increase.

      One of the only avenues left to pursue is functional programming, which is why dynamic languages (Perl/Python/Ruby/JavaScript) are clinging to functional features a lot moreso than, say 5-8 years ago.