Welcome to the programming language explosion

The days of Java and .Net dominance are over. Let a thousand languages bloom and cross-pollinate

By Andrew Oliver, InfoWorld |  Software, programming

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
development.

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
interviews the creators of Ruby, Clojure, and Scala
to see where their vision overlap and diverge. | Learn how
to work smarter, not harder with InfoWorld's roundup of all the tips and trends programmers need to know in the
Developers' Survival Guide
. Download the PDF today! | Keep up with the latest developer news with InfoWorld's
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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#.


Originally published on InfoWorld |  Click here to read the original story.
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