job.answiz.com
  • 4
Votes
name

I find it that when languages are considered the same as commercial software, there is always a constant need to add new features to justify new releases.

Can there be or are there languages where version 1.0 is the final version? Of course bug fixes are exempt from this, but the feature set always remains the same?

This way every feature in the language fits together nicely and not seem like they are bolted on after the fact with obsolete features still around because of backwards compatibility.

I assume some academic languages are like this? But are there commercially successful languages that follows this idea? The accompanying library is also free to get new features too, but the language always remains constant.

One example I can give is, one of my favourite languages C#, which I use pretty often, more and more features are being added every release. To take advantages of these, I have to drop actual tasks in hand, and spend considerable time learning these instead of being able to pick up trivial concepts and combine those myself to solve more complex problems with ease.

So I guess I am looking for a minimalist approach where everything is consistent, makes sense, and is as orthogonal as possible.

C and Fortran are languages that spring to mind. They are very stable and their syntax is easily contained in one's mind. Other than writing bad code yourself, there are very few suprises when using these languages. But I wouldn't hold them up as great languages for rapid application development.

I prefer the rapid advancement of languages with features that once I spend a little time on them, make my job considerably easier and the code less complex while maintaining expressiveness.

  • 0
Reply Report

Lisp, Smalltalk. Coincidentally, those are also the best languages in the whole bunch.

Both Lisp and Smalltalk are languages which are built around strong unifying metaphor. Lisp's metaphor is "everything is a list; this list represents both data and code (as functions)". Smalltalk's metaphor is "everything is an object; the only way to invoke a behaviour is to pass a message to an object". These metaphors allows the languages to be stable, minimal and powerful. The rest is in the library.

Things that are called "control structures" in all non-minimal (I wanted to write "bloated") languages, are parts of the library here (as an example: cond function in lisp; ifTrue:/ifFalse: family of messages in Smalltalk both implement a conditional, where other languages have if keyword).

It can be seen that Lisp / Smalltalk are nearly minimal embodiments of their paradigm and nothing more (Lisp: functional programming; Smalltalk: object-oriented programming).

  • 2
Reply Report