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Just by the fact the a language is well engineered doesn't make it a popular language in the industry. The time and the way in which it appears makes a difference. When C appeared (from Bell labs) it fit nicely with the Unix ecosystem. There was a better engineered language already here, PLM, but the industry couldn't take and run with it as easily. The time point of Perl 5 successes is another example (and contrast that with the appearance of Perl6 more recently). Java, when it was introduced, was not well engineered at all but it came at a certain point in object orientation that the software engineering community had been striving toward.

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