July 12, 2012, 11:41 AM — Microsoft could be right -- maybe we will write our projects in seven languages for one platform. When
interviewing language inventors Gavin King (Ceylon), Rich Hickey (Clojure), and Charles Nutter (Ruby) for my
previous article, one detail stuck out. For the most part, they take on faith the idea of "polyglot" software
Years ago, the former chair of the ECMA .Net CLI standards board, Sam Ruby, gave a talk to the Triangle Java Users Group. He ended his presentation on .Net
with a cheeky quote that I paraphrase from memory: "If you want to write one project in seven languages for one
platform, choose .Net. If you want to write one project in one language for seven platforms, choose Java." The user group responded to
this dig at Microsoft with a standing ovation.
[ Also on InfoWorld: Andrew Oliver
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For a long time, mission-critical business software was written in Cobol and/or RPG if it was on the mainframe.
PC programming was a much more fragmented market, and you saw waves of C/C++ give way
to scripting languages, Perl, and so on. For a decade, we had a period of relative stability with Java, Visual
Basic/ASP, and later .Net, with .Net's support of multiple languages more hype than practice. Just as plain old
Java ruled the roost, while other JVM languages were rarely used to create business software, most .Net software
was written in C#.