* John Ousterhout
| Every single programmer who ever wrote a program in Tcl, Perl, C++,
| Visual Basic, or even C could have chosen Lisp, Scheme, or Smalltalk.
| But they didn't.
yeah, this is a _really_ ingenious argument. let's look at the operating
word here, "could". how do people choose languages? do they pick them out
of the blue? or do they pick languages according to hype, marketing,
availability, perceived proximity to known languages, etc? it should be
pretty darn obvious that they don't choose languages they don't "know".
C++ won because it was "a better C", then, as people got more into it, it
grew to become a behemoth of a language. perl was a cute little thing that
combined several of the silly little Unix languages into one language and
added a few cute improvements. then it got cancer and grew to become an
enormous _implementation_ of a largely unspecified language, just like its
predecessors. now, tcl is not really language, either, just as the Bourne
shell, awk, sed, etc, are not languages. they are just tools in a toolbox.
languages have more than one implementation. perl doesn't. does Tcl?
the Distinguished Professor of Computer Science has turned into a Marketing
Droid. how incredibly sad.
| If you want to know the truth, I think you need to stop making
| superficial excuses and ask deeper semantic questions.
the way I read this debate, people are asking deep, semantic questions of
Tcl and they get superficial excuses for answers.
| There really is something better about each of these "ugly languages"
| that gives them an advantage over the "good" languages; I'll leave it up
| to you to figure out what it is.
one word: novelty. for some reason, immature people prefer a new language
over an existing language when they are presented with one new and one old.
unformed people delight in the gaudy and in novelty.
cooked people delight in the ordinary.
I'm no longer young enough to know everything.