John Ousterhout wrote:
> One of the most common criticisms of my white paper has been that the
> distinction between scripting and system programming is artificial, and
> that it is possible for a single language to be good at both tasks.
I think this statement is as bad a simplification of the
criticism of your paper as your paper itself is a simplification
of the problems solved by programming languages.
Your paper concludes "scripting will become an even more
important programming paradigm in the next century than it
My criticism is that this conclusion does not follow because
of simplistic assumptions about the roles and uses of programming
languages in computing. You yourself say
> By the way, I think that Lisp is a fascinating language [...] It just isn't
> good for system programming or scripting. This reinforces my claim that you
> should use different tools for different tasks. This is also why I didn't
> mention Lisp in the paper. The things I discussed in the white paper aren't
> the things that Lisp was designed for or that it does best, so it isn't
> really fair to compare Lisp along those dimensions.
This is precisely my point. If you should use different tools
for different tasks than it is the nature of the tasks which
determine the tools you should use, not some academic argument
about typing or some other feature.
There may exist a compelling argument that scripting will become
more important, but your paper does not make it.
In the introduction of your own book you write that Tcl and Tk
were born out of frustration with the tools that predated them.
In the 21st century I predict we will use tools born from the
frustration of using tools such as Tcl and Tk.