For the past year I have been engaged with the Python language and have very much impressed by it. So it is excited to find a recent white paper from David Ascher to speak for dynamic languages, a term he coined for the class of languages such as Perl, Python, PHP, etc, which are often referred to as scripting languages. He observed that these languages are widely used beyond the scripting area and their dynamic nature is really what set them apart from the system language such as C++ and Java.
The most interesting part in his paper is he look more than the technical competence but also the social aspect as a defining characteristics. These languages all have primary implementation in open source model and have active grassroots participation. Being open source also make them fertile ground for experimentation in academic language research. Despite having nearly no formal budget, they are able to evolve and succeed against other corporate made development tools.
I believe dynamic language is going to play an important role in the future of computing. And I see this paper to serve as the "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" in the programming language domain.
2004.09.09 comments -