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Bjarne Stroustrup: "There are more useful systems developed in languages deemed awful than in languages praised for being beautiful--many more. The purpose of a programming language is to help build good systems, where "good" can be defined in many ways. My brief definition is, correct, maintainable, and adequately fast. Aesthetics matter, but first and foremost a language must be useful; it must allow real-world programmers to express real-world ideas succinctly and affordably."

January 18, 2007 11:07 AM


(January 18, 2007 11:55 AM #)

Well, I'm going to make a bet that there are also more projects that do not succeed implemented in languages deemed awful. Given that there are more things attempted in languages deemed awful.

(January 18, 2007 11:27 PM #)

Define beautiful please...

(January 19, 2007 06:38 AM #)

The mistake is in thinking that the two need be mutually exclusive.

(January 19, 2007 01:03 PM #)

[QUOTE]John McArthy realized that by implementing only one function for Lisp[/QUOTE]
And your contention is that? Lisp is a beautiful language? Bjarne Stroustrup is absolutely correct in saying that practical - not beautiful - languages gain mainstream usage. 'C' wasn't beautiful. 'C++' isn't particularly beautiful. And neither is 'Java' going to win any beauty contests.

But they are/have all (been) eminently mainstream languages.

On the other hand, Pascal and SmallTalk are downright beautiful examples in their specific domains (teaching programming for the former and Object Orientation for the latter). Neither has gained - nor does it look like they ever will gain - earth-shaking popularity.

(January 19, 2007 06:49 PM #)

Note that the "awful" category contains COBOL, which still accounts for a huge number of deployed applications.

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