Friday, April 3, 2009
Programming Languages are the root cause of our issues – at least most of our issues
Old firewood ovens have been replaced, refrigerators requiring large blocks of ice are now in museums and junk shops and old hand-churned approaches to mixing have been replaced a long time ago with the miracle of electricity….Progress is everywhere, Moore’s law speaks to hardware improvements….but what the heck happened to our programming languages? They’re frozen in time with no real significant change since the 1970’s (over 30 years ago)……how can you expect quality, performance and usability improvements when the basic building blocks are trapped in time when programmers were still living in caves? I’m sure you’re thinking about object oriented advances….well, hate to say it, for those few really using REAL object oriented coding, it hasn’t really solved much, basic bugging, recoding, lack of reuse, lack of patterns, lack of real error checking/trapping, lack of standards, lack of safety nets, etc. etc etc. are more prevalent than ever.
A telling sign that programming languages have not advanced much since the ‘70s is the continued high use of C – a pure, deep, solid – but OLD – programming language. (http://langpop.com/).
What we need is some real rethinking of how programming is done focusing on the current basic issues of buggy code, difficulty in deployment, team effort, etc…..I’ve seen a lot of people complaining, a lot of domain specific languages being created (which will add to the problem by having the same programming approach in various new domain specific languages) and NO real interest by any major IT organization or company in looking into establishing a new metaphor for programming….TIME TO WAKE UP AND DO SOMETHING……..