Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Favorite Programming Language Qualities

Here are my favorite qualities of programming languages:
  • Consistent (orthogonal feature set)
  • Expressive
  • Convenient
  • Small (core language features and API)
  • Extensible
  • Safe (encouraging quality code)
  • Familiar (for newcomers)
  • Easy reading for people (for newcomers and experts)
  • Easy reading for computers (toolable, optimizable)

I think some of these tend to work against each other, and some support each other.

Looking at present times, small core APIs (microkernel-ish) sure aren't in vogue. Rather people tend towards "batteries included". Note that a small core should make cross-platform easier to do.

I also wonder if the current trend towards optimizing and tooling dynamic languages will eventually overcome static languages. I think it will be a while yet, but things seem to be moving that direction.

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