"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Wednesday, January 07, 2004

BigCo Dynamics

Jon delivers a great sermon on dynamic languages and wraps it up with an observation...

Somebody asked me yesterday why platform vendors like Microsoft and Sun are never at the forefront of dynamic-language innovation. I don't know why that's so, but it does seem to be true.

Sun has been at the forefront in the labs, e.g. the Self language was partially a Sun effort. The Java HotSpot VM is essentially a productization of many dynamic language implementation innovations.

I think an answer to the question above has more to do with the psychology and sociology of programming than it does with anything else. The big companies are almost by definition the ones whose value chain ends with giving the majority what they want. What they want is not always what works good in laboratories, nor is it necessarily what is "best for them".

Looking at language evolution in the long run, especially as plotted against a graph of Moore's Law, clearly the trend is to become more dynamic. A good indicator is a major industry journalist writing about such things.

I don't know what the name will be for the ultimate dynamic language, but it is almost certain to have {curly braces} in the syntax and come from Microsoft. Well, sociology may determine the syntax to have <angle brackets>, but it almost certainly will come from Microsoft. 8^)

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.