too many programming languages?

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jeeswg
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too many programming languages?

31 Jan 2019, 09:37

- Do we really need so many programming languages?
- I don't want every project I work on, to be written in a different programming language, it's unnecessary.
- I don't want to learn a new programming language every year, it's time to start fixing the old ones.
- There are similar problems with: web frameworks, content management systems and Linux distros.

- I'd rather make it possible to program in C++ in a 'simple' way, than master 10 'simple' languages.
- If we had a really good library for C++, for common tasks, e.g. if we replicated the AutoHotkey functions/A_ variables as functions/macros in C++, C++ would be an 'easy' language, essentially as easy as AutoHotkey or Python. I've already been working on this.

- I'm not against people working on smaller programming languages. Language experiments are useful as a source of new ideas for the major ones, and are a good way to learn.
- However, I would recommend any dev working on a small language, to also spend time working on a major (top 5) language. Sharing time between big and small projects being the best use of their talents.

- I would suggest that the best solution for supporting old languages, would be to have a general function library ported across multiple programming languages. This would make it easier for users of old languages to translate their code to new languages. And this would make it easier for users of major languages to work in older languages when needed. I've already been working on this.
- Generally speaking, any old but minor languages should be phased out, and for any new languages, their wider use outside of testing circles should be discouraged.

- I go by my principles, I share my time between C++ and AutoHotkey.
- The benefits of AutoHotkey over C++ are that: you don't have to wait for your code to compile, you only need the small 1-2MB AutoHotkey exe to run programs (not gigabytes of files).
- I view AutoHotkey as a sort of 'C++ Lite' for most of your needs, 99%+ in my case, which can launch C++ programs via the command line if needed.
- Btw I'm trying to write functions in C++, and features/functions in AutoHotkey, to make it ever easier to use the same code in both languages.
- Btw also, I considered a mechanism for cpp files, whereby you wouldn't need to specify the trailing semicolons.

- Any thoughts? Thanks.
Last edited by jeeswg on 11 Mar 2019, 01:32, edited 1 time in total.
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nnnik
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Re: too many programming languages?

31 Jan 2019, 10:54

:facepalm:
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YMP2
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Re: too many programming languages?

31 Jan 2019, 11:00

I am afraid that if everything gets simple and easy, we will become weak and stupid. Then what was easy will become difficult and what was simple will become complex and we will want something easier and simpler. Until there is one button in every programming IDE titled 'Write a program'. You will not even have to think what it should do, it will be fished out of your subconscious. Perhaps the IDE will simply analyze your body language or something.
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Re: too many programming languages?

31 Jan 2019, 11:05

I think you will always end up with multiple languages. This is because:

1. They serve different purposes
2. The organizations, creators, and developers behind them have different philosophies and thinking
3. People will have preferences, where they prefer a language or coding style over another

Some people might hate Python and C++, but love Pascal and JavaScript.
Some people love Ruby and Perl, but hate Java and Basic.

We could go round and round with that. No two people, and less likely different groups of people, will think and like exactly the same.
Last edited by SOTE on 31 Jan 2019, 22:24, edited 1 time in total.
swagfag
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Re: too many programming languages?

31 Jan 2019, 11:45

if we replicated the AutoHotkey commands/functions/A_ variables/loops as functions/macros in C++, C++ would be an 'easy' language
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jeeswg
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Re: too many programming languages?

31 Jan 2019, 18:32

- Responding in reverse order.

- @swagfag: With a bit of time, C++ isn't too difficult.
- With a bit of wrapping, you greatly increase the clarity.
- (I've already done some work on that 'really good library for C++'. It made it quite easy to program.)

- @SOTE: While there are differences between languages, most of the time I'm coding similar things within similar syntaxes.
- I find most languages fairly similar, with a random 10% of things that are omitted or unnecessarily difficult.
- Overall I tend to dislike most languages equally ergo C++ is fine.
- I find the 2010s languages for example, largely unnecessary.
Timeline of programming languages - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_programming_languages#2010s
- I have more sympathy for there being many different languages in the early days, there were CPU constraints, and languages were a new thing, people wouldn't have had a clear idea of where they were going.
- How many start-up languages must you learn?
- How many legacy languages must you support?
- In this playlist of 61 videos, I'd say *at least* 36 would be useful to watch.
Learn in One Video - YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLGLfVvz_LVvSX7fVd4OUFp_ODd86H0ZIY
- In 10+ years how many will that increase to?
- That's a lot of languages. How many is too many?
- I think that part of it is a lack of discipline.
- Ultimately it will be more useful if people *don't* create new languages.
- We know about 'feature creep', what about 'language creep'?
- Perhaps a few of the simple ideas I set out will be commonplace in 10 or 20 years, as the obvious solution to a clearly emerging problem.

- @YMP2: I think that new languages, and my 'C++++' idea (C++ + a good function library), give you roughly the same outcome in terms of learning.
- So both would leave you equally 'weak' or 'stupid' as you say.
- However, instead of delaying learning C++, you will be there from day one, and you will be quicker to gain more advanced optimisation and low-level knowledge.
- I feel a lot of languages are just: a simpler-to-write slower version of the previous language. A plaster over something else, with no regard for performance, resulting in bloatware, and unnecessary power consumption. They have more in common with fashion trends than with technological innovation.

- @nnnik: Well, how many languages do you know?
- And how many new languages/frameworks do you want to learn?
- Over the next 10+ years.
- Do you think it's a good use of time?
- Are all of those languages unique and equally necessary?
- People in the IT industry do like to make a mess for themselves.
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Re: too many programming languages?

31 Jan 2019, 19:05

nnnik wrote:
31 Jan 2019, 10:54
:facepalm:
+1 :facepalm:
:mrgreen: not trying to show contempt, just thought the question to be a little comical :P
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Re: too many programming languages?

31 Jan 2019, 20:04

jeeswg wrote:
31 Jan 2019, 09:37
I don't care if in the future will exist millions, billions, trillions or even infillions programming languages to deal with!

The only thing that I think should be a must for any programming language is the capability to do real compilation! (Unlike fake compilation adopted by some languages like AutoIt, AHK, etc, etc in which has nothing to do with compilation, they just include the script inside the interpreter.exe)

To easily combine machine codes generated from different languages in 1 code, well, that would be FANTASTIC!
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jeeswg
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Re: too many programming languages?

02 Feb 2019, 12:23

- I thought I'd state some of the inspirations for this thread.
- This post mentioned Stefan Mischook:
Object-Oriented Programming Is Bad? - AutoHotkey Community
https://autohotkey.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=59107&p=260667#p260667
- I hadn't watched any of his videos in a while, so I thought I'd take a look.

- Video 1:
How Important is Kotlin in 2019? - YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s104gEo3Pdg
- He said: 'advanced developers will move from language to language, from framework to framework'.
- Although true, I feel this seemingly reasonable assumption is being taken to ludicrous and unhealthy extremes, and is likely to get worse.
- The problem is not immediately obvious, and may not be being talked about widely at the moment, but I feel that language/framework overload could be a big topic in 5 to 10 years' time.

- Video 2:
The Python Programming Deception? - YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeYljNZHjZQ
- The very title of this video struck me immediately.
- I'd been thinking along these lines myself, and then eventually you hear someone else say the same thing as you.
- Is Python only used for personal scripts, AI, and as a good first language, but not by businesses?

- Further points:
- One thing I see occasionally is people getting excited about a new language or framework, simply for its novelty value, 'another toy to play with'.
- It's an unfortunate part of the IT industry.
- We have 'C -> Objective-C -> Swift'. Fair enough you might say, but what if we add another 2 layers on top of that? That's why I feel that if this 'too many languages' problem isn't immediately obvious at the present time, some future totemic change like that will come to underline/symbolise the problem.

- Shedding:
- Admittedly, there are generalisations here, but they are there to prompt debate.
- Java doesn't really achieve 'write once, run anywhere', so we might as well go back to C++, and do compatibility from scratch as an add-on to C++, having learned lessons.
- Recreating C++ as Java, and Java as C#, are these gigantic mistakes? I.e. duplication for the sake of it.
- Python is mainly/only used for AI, but is slow, so we'd be better off making a 'friendly C++' library to achieve a fast write time *and* fast run time for AI.
- If we're going to have new languages for Android/iPhone apps, Kotlin/Swift, why can't those languages be the same language, one language. Alternatively, why not just use C/C++ with a good function library for apps, especially now that we've had some time to work out what's needed.
- How many server-side languages do we need?
Programming languages used in most popular websites - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Programming_languages_used_in_most_popular_websites
- How many JavaScript frameworks do we need?
- Out of interest, although I don't particularly want it, could we replace JavaScript in webpages with C++?
- New languages may offer a tiny bit of convenience when writing, but the cost of conversion/porting is increased massively. So if convenience is the justification, it's a non-argument.
- Realistically you need to guess the language that will survive into the future, otherwise hardly anyone will be able to maintain your written-in-an-obscure-language program.
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jeeswg
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Re: too many programming languages?

11 Mar 2019, 02:45

Selected quotes.

==================================================

"Uncle" Bob Martin - "The Future of Programming" - YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecIWPzGEbFc#t=57m11

because the code is: assignment statements, if statements and while loops
...
if we have made any advances in software, since 1945
it is almost entirely in what not to do:
...
structured programming: don't use unrestrained goto
functional programming: don't use assignment
object-oriented programming: don't use pointers to functions

==================================================

IMO Episode 10 - Interview With Uncle Bob (Robert) C. Martin - YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1pbVwISv_U#t=49m14

the community of programmers needs to prune the massive tree of languages that we're currently immersed in

==================================================

IMO Episode 10 - Interview With Uncle Bob (Robert) C. Martin - YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1pbVwISv_U#t=1h6m11

but when it comes down to it, it's: if statements, while loops, and assignments

==================================================

features - Why can't there be an "universal" programming language that serves all purposes? - Software Engineering Stack Exchange
https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/4889/why-cant-there-be-an-universal-programming-language-that-serves-all-purposes

I think all the "because you don't carve statues with a pencil" answers are missing the point.

Who here, TRULY selects a language before every new project?

The truth is, we only need a few programming languages, and the programming world would be better off that way: people would focus on making the scripting language better instead of being scattered across python/ruby/perl/younameit for example.

C# is programmed on/for windows (alright, there's Mono, anybody here runs a C# under Mono app every day?) and that makes users buy Windows7/8, and that makes money for Microsoft.
Other companies do the same, then open source knows better, then mister genius too... and we got lots of look-alike languages, it's just humanity's self-centered nature.

==================================================

features - Why can't there be an "universal" programming language that serves all purposes? - Software Engineering Stack Exchange
https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/4889/why-cant-there-be-an-universal-programming-language-that-serves-all-purposes

Agreed - we mostly only really need a high level "safe" language, a low level "unsafe" system programming language, all the assembly languages (one per CPU, they're unavoidable but hidden), plus some special purpose (domain specific) languages (e.g. SQL). The real problem is that it's impossible for anyone to declare a language "deprecated" (even when the language designer tries to do it - e.g. Python 2 vs. Python 3). More new languages each year and no old languages discarded means that eventually there will be more languages in use than programmers to use them. ;-)

==================================================

Why do we need so many programming languages can we just use one and are the all the same? - Quora
https://www.quora.com/Why-do-we-need-so-many-programming-languages-can-we-just-use-one-and-are-the-all-the-same

Many new languages were created because of a need to have more types of variables. For example, BASIC was originally created to add the matrix variable to programming languages for college students studying programming and math.

Also, many new languages were created to add new functionality that made programming better such as C++.

New languages were needed to implement Functional Programming which is fundamentally different from regular computer programming.

But once the object mechanism was developed, then the need to develop new languages went away. The object mechanism can be used to create any type of variable and any type of functionality, which can then be stored in a library.

We do not need new programming languages. In fact, all the different languages supported by Microsoft’s .NET, are really the same except for syntax differences.

We need a universal (ever expanding) library of objects that does everything a programmer needs. And we need a powerful, easy-to-use software development system. Both of which are direly lacking.

I’ve seen good software engineers often spending 80% of their day trying to figure out how to get Microsoft’s Visual Studio to do something.

I think we should hang the next programming language developer and pray for some organization (such as the ACM or IEEE) to tackle the job of creating and maintaining a universal library available to all programmers from their website.

It dawned on me recently that Computer Science’s approach to expanding computer programming is to invent new programming languages to expand programming functionality.

I base my conclusion on the fact that dozens of new programming languages now exist and more are being created every day.

Clearly, Computer Science is inventing new programming languages to expand functionality. For example, I wondered why Computer Scientists don’t understand multitasking using the operating system services. And the answer is because Computer Science invented new languages for doing it: Erlang, Elixir, and Go.

The ENTIRE computer programming industry (21 million professional programmers and hundreds of Computer Science Colleges) is headed in the wrong direction and I am the only one who seems to have realized it.

It is incredibly stupid to force computer programmers to learn an entirely new whole language just to get a new functionality. For one, each new language must reinvent all the old stuff. For two, what if you want to use two new functionalities?

Moreover, I thought the computer industry had already concluded (when it invented the object mechanism and the runtime environment) that one good language and then a library of objects was the way to expand functionality.

When new functionality and data types are invented, we are supposed encapsulate them into new objects and store them in a universal library for all programmers to use with their known language, which is the philosophy behind Microsoft’s .NET system.

In the 60’s and early 70’s, computer programmers did believe that every industry would invent their own language. For example, COBOL and Fortran. COBOL for business and Fortran for scientific and engineering work.

But that never worked out.

Instead, IBM created PL/1 to replace all known languages at the time with one language. But more importantly, the C Programming Language came-along and everyone used C for everything for a decade or more—except for mainframe programmers who continued to use COBOL.

And so for years and years and years, almost all computer programming was accomplished with C and COBOL.

Then the object mechanism was invented, and C++ replaced C. Then the runtime environment was invented and those two mechanism plus C++ or Java allowed any programmer to do anything, easily and uniformly.

And more importantly, it allowed us to expand functionality infinitively.

Programmers didn't have to learn an entirely new language to do something new. They just used the new objects. Programmers could read anybody's code. Programmers could go to any company and immediately begin programming.

Now, they can't do any of those things.

Now computer programmers may need to learn any of a hundred terrible programming languages instead of one good programming language.

I want to be fluent in one good language and be able to do anything in a few minutes; not fumble around for weeks trying to learn a new language.

So what the hell went wrong? Where did the bad idea of inventing and learning new programming languages originate? Why I am the only one who seems to have realized it?

Why won't you listen to me when I say stop; Computer Science is headed in the wrong direction?

==================================================

xkcd: Standards
https://xkcd.com/927/

==================================================

There are many programming languages available. Do we need new programming languages or should we improve existing languages? - Quora
https://www.quora.com/There-are-many-programming-languages-available-Do-we-need-new-programming-languages-or-should-we-improve-existing-languages

It is like people thinking all ills of society are due to bad political parties, so we should have a new political party.

==================================================

Why are there so many programming languages if most programmers use C, C++, Java, and PHP? - Quora
https://www.quora.com/Why-are-there-so-many-programming-languages-if-most-programmers-use-C-C++-Java-and-PHP

(Also, Facebook uses a PHP dialect because the mainstream PHP is just a pile of shit. Trust me on that.)

==================================================

Why are there so many programming languages? - Quora
https://www.quora.com/Why-are-there-so-many-programming-languages

Each generation of languages compares to the previous in similar ways. The newer one is more automated, while the older one is more verbose, harder to code, but gives the programmer more control.

==================================================

Why are there so many programming languages? - Quora
https://www.quora.com/Why-are-there-so-many-programming-languages

Modern C++, C#, Java and D are therefore not really filling independent niches, but are rather four very different perspectives of the same [niche], developed out of closely related frustration.

==================================================

Why are there so many programming languages? - Quora
https://www.quora.com/Why-are-there-so-many-programming-languages

CPL became BCPL became B became C. One could argue that all four of these languages, and all C variants since, are really just forked specifications of CPL

==================================================

Why are there so many programming languages? - Quora
https://www.quora.com/Why-are-there-so-many-programming-languages

close to the metal

==================================================

Why are there so many programming languages? - Quora
https://www.quora.com/Why-are-there-so-many-programming-languages

•C++ - similar to C with the added (dis)advantage of supporting OOP.

==================================================

Why are there so many programming languages? - Quora
https://www.quora.com/Why-are-there-so-many-programming-languages

•hardware and operating systems that their compilers or interpreters run on
•implementers who write compilers and interpreters for new hardware and operating systems
•programmers who use the languages
•teachers who teach the languages to new programmers

If any of these populations falls below a certain threshold level, the language dies.

==================================================

Why are there so many programming languages? - Quora
https://www.quora.com/Why-are-there-so-many-programming-languages

Just as there are many languages, there are many reasons why. Think of all the features C does not have: garbage collection, inheritance, co-routines, and regular expressions to name a few. Some of these things could be added with an appropriate library but not all.

==================================================

Why are there so many programming languages? - Quora
https://www.quora.com/Why-are-there-so-many-programming-languages

And there will always be language designers who think they can build a better mousetrap.

==================================================

Why are there so many programming languages? - Quora
https://www.quora.com/Why-are-there-so-many-programming-languages

However, since I and, by the sound of it you as well, doubt that the dozens and dozens of modern-day languages are needed to cover most of the applications for computing, there must be some other reason for a proliferation of languages. I suspect that this reason is due to computer scientists and programmers either trying to develop superior languages or to dedicating their free time towards creating a language, possibly as a proof-of-concept or as a challenge to themselves.

==================================================

Why are there so many programming languages? - Quora
https://www.quora.com/Why-are-there-so-many-programming-languages

Darned few are derived from C -- arguably C++ and Objective C, now maybe D, Rust, and Go. The rest that most think are C derivatives really aren't, except for the use of curly-braces, which derive from BCPL in 1966.
Especially not Java, Javascript or C#, which are more dynamic and are garbage collected.

==================================================

Why are there so many programming languages? - Quora
https://www.quora.com/Why-are-there-so-many-programming-languages

It is bcoz world is moving towards talent crisis where each n every programmer 'll have their own programming language.

==================================================

Why are there so many programming languages? - Quora
https://www.quora.com/Why-are-there-so-many-programming-languages

Part of the reason for this is that designing a languages is fun, and anything that is fun tends to be done often. We don't "need" them in the same sense that we don't need a supermarket aisle full of 100 varieties of breakfast cereals. But we (in aggregate) seem to want this choice.

==================================================

Links:
[I include this link because FP is often poorly explained, but key to the debate]
Robert C Martin - Functional Programming; What? Why? When? - YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Zlp9rKHGD4

Links (sources):
"Uncle" Bob Martin - "The Future of Programming" - YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecIWPzGEbFc#t=57m11
IMO Episode 10 - Interview With Uncle Bob (Robert) C. Martin - YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1pbVwISv_U#t=49m14
IMO Episode 10 - Interview With Uncle Bob (Robert) C. Martin - YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1pbVwISv_U#t=1h6m11
features - Why can't there be an "universal" programming language that serves all purposes? - Software Engineering Stack Exchange
https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/4889/why-cant-there-be-an-universal-programming-language-that-serves-all-purposes
Why do we need so many programming languages can we just use one and are the all the same? - Quora
https://www.quora.com/Why-do-we-need-so-many-programming-languages-can-we-just-use-one-and-are-the-all-the-same
xkcd: Standards
https://xkcd.com/927/
There are many programming languages available. Do we need new programming languages or should we improve existing languages? - Quora
https://www.quora.com/There-are-many-programming-languages-available-Do-we-need-new-programming-languages-or-should-we-improve-existing-languages
Why are there so many programming languages if most programmers use C, C++, Java, and PHP? - Quora
https://www.quora.com/Why-are-there-so-many-programming-languages-if-most-programmers-use-C-C++-Java-and-PHP
Why are there so many programming languages? - Quora
https://www.quora.com/Why-are-there-so-many-programming-languages

==================================================
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Arkan
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Re: too many programming languages?

17 Mar 2019, 04:25

Yes, no single programming language is perfect, many people think so. But few people think that many simply computers can not pull the program. So do not need to throw off all the programming languages. They are often updated and the work is not so bad.
SOTE
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Re: too many programming languages?

17 Mar 2019, 06:38

Something to consider when discussing languages, is the tools and frameworks that come with them. If we say there are too many languages, then what is the one language that will allow you to write console and GUI programs on all OSes and hardware?

That's where we run into a major sticking point. Java tried to claim the title of "be all and end all", and has clearly failed. The other contenders (at present) to such a title are arguably; Object Pascal, Python, JavaScript, C#, Objective C, and Swift. With Python, JavaScript, Java, and C# arguably being out of the running, because they are not close to the hardware. Not to also mention the bloat that Java, C#, and Python bring with them. JavaScript is still very much trapped in web browsing and "cross contaminated" with CSS and HTML. C# seems to have been held back by Microsoft not wanting Linux, Android, or iOS to get too much "shine" at the expense of Windows (which they have anyway). Though I'm sure people here might have a preference for C++, the tools for conveniently writing cross-platform and cross-compiling are arguably not there.

Thus we are debatably left with Swift, Objective-C, and Object Pascal. In the case of Object Pascal, Lazarus and FPC have not made writing apps on iOS viable, yet. Though you can use it for Linux, Mac, and Android. For some odd reasons, when such free Pascal projects for the iOS would start, they would suddenly stop. Delphi and Oxygene (variations of Object Pascal) allow for creating apps on the iOS, but cost a ton of money. Probably most people have not heard of Swift, and it's more an Apple development tool, as oppose to something for the Windows platform. Not to mention, it appears many don't like the programming language Swift, so it doesn't appear to have or will catch on. Somewhat the same problem for Objective-C, where it's not well known and is mostly used as an Apple tool, and appears to be a mess if you want to use it for development on a Windows OS. Maybe in the future, the Red programming language might make some noise, but that appears years away. So the "one language" doesn't appear to be an option.
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nnnik
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Re: too many programming languages?

17 Mar 2019, 07:14

Go is a programming language developed by Google - it seems like it's main focus is to create Server software.
I want to learn Rust - it seems fun but Im not sure what it could be used for.

Also swift doesn't target Windows.
https://www.tiobe.com/tiobe-index/
Once again the tiobe index is out placing Java at the top of the ranking again followed by C.
The gap between them is slowly decreasing and C might eventually pass Java.
Looking at the graph you can see that both laguages are slowly falling in popularity.

Python is still growing extremly fast and finally passed C++ in terms of ranking.

AutoHotkey is not in the top 100 once again - sadly.
After looking at their site again it seems they don't track autohotkey at all :/
Recommends AHK Studio
SOTE
Posts: 654
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Re: too many programming languages?

17 Mar 2019, 08:12

nnnik wrote:
17 Mar 2019, 07:14
AutoHotkey is not in the top 100 once again - sadly.
After looking at their site again it seems they don't track autohotkey at all :/
If there was an AutoHotkey interpreter for Linux or Android, I would think it's popularity would soar. That AutoHotkey is Windows OS only, might debatably have something to do with it's ranking.

The only other way, in my opinion, would be for ReactOS or Windows Mobile to suddenly take off. Things look pretty grim for Windows Mobile and Windows Phone, but maybe Microsoft is playing possum. Microsoft has been pushing Windows on ARM processors, so they might be hiding something up their sleeve. And though it's a long shot, ReactOS might yet surprise everyone. They seem close to finally having something useful, which might attract the attention of some companies or more geeks to load it on more hardware. Maybe even smartphones. A free version of Windows, whether from ReactOS or that Microsoft got scared, might have an effect on market share and increase usage. Thus AutoHotkey gets a popularity bump via that way.
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Re: too many programming languages?

17 Mar 2019, 08:32

Looking at that list, RPG looked like a fun language.
Spoiler
Assemblers like MASM provide a challenge for certain tasks, especially if wanting to get close & personal with drivers for H/W.
Objective-C was another with the potential to rule them all, on account of its adaptability to many OS.
And PL/1 & Lisp still up there?! OMG.
It isn't just the language, but the IDE. There's a lot of them around as well, and many (at least to the not too discerning subscriber) suffer from bloat and cruft.
:arrow: itros "ylbbub eht tuO kaerB" a ni kcuts m'I pleH

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