Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Ask HN: What languages of the last 20 years are here to stay?
12 points by elamje 7 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 25 comments
I am curious after reading HN so much, and seeing so many language fanatics on here, what languages do you think are going to be used for the foreseeable future?

There are so many new ones, so which of the ones from 1999-present, so you think will gain popularity, or maintain a strong niche going forward?

C# is nearly twenty years old, and is still developing at a rapid pace. As more people switch towards .NET Core, I can see more people adopting the language and framework. On the same stack, I can also see PowerShell remaining for a long time, due to its scripting power on the Windows platform. As long as Windows is around, PowerShell will stay and continue to evolve.

Alongside these, I can see Rust expanding its reach, probably not to general purpose developing, but taking over more use cases from C++.

You bring up a good point with .NET Core potentially increasing the use of C#. I would love to see new languages coming out for the CLR as well. It seems like there was a bunch in the first few years but it has dwindled to only a few non-Microsoft CLR languages with some of those no longer maintained (Boo and Nemerle).

Above anything else, I would love to see F# get more love. From my experience, it's in a weird place where .NET devs would love to use it, but either don't see the benefit of switching, or don't see how to switch.

If Microsoft were to tackle a new language, I'd love to see a systems language, especially as many industries still use Windows to build software in C++. A language that can be used alongside Rust for things like gaming would be fantastic.

PowerShell is also cross-platform now: https://github.com/powershell/powershell

That's fantastic! A lot of people laugh at building software on Windows, but one of the things I really miss since moving to OSX/Debian is using PowerShell for scripting tasks.

Javascript will be with us for a long time ( the new BASIC?)

C99: while there is much to applaud in Rust and Swift, but i doubt C will be displaced in the embedded space given the pace of embedded device development and scale of legacy libraries and investments.

Languages from Walled Gardens, even when open sourced, such as Microsoft/Unity & C#, Google & Go, Apple & Obj-C/Swift, etc., do not seem to expand far from their origins, and thus their fates seem entwined with their creator. Hard to call their futures, but i suspect the market will shift.

LLVM's intermediate language (IR) and Vulkan's SPIR-V, seem to underlie many other languages compiled outputs so i'd expect they will be with us for a long time as a validating, porting, and research standard.

Swift is an interesting one because IBM seem to be quite keen on it as a server language:


I also think python is going to be around for a long long time. It has become the runaway favorite in the AI/ML space, and that space seems to be here to stay.

Even bigger for its staying power is the fact that I see it more and more as the language universities use to teach, which is obviously going to be a big boon for its popularity and staying power.

PHP is 25 years old this year. Despite all the hate it gets, the core team continues to move the language forward, and it most definitely has its niche in web development.

For reference, here are some of those languages: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_programming_languag....

Swift, Scratch, Go, and TypeScript seem like they will be around for a while.

Probably Rust too. And Scala.

I really think that Elixir has a shot at staying around for a while

SQL. I bet there aren’t many of you who haven’t had to use it.

Javascript will be the most long lasting language

Does modern C++ count ( c++ >= 11) ? The modern standard changed a lot of paradigms of the language, like a multi threading aware memory consistency model.

In the domain of system programming and gaming C++ is still paramount. While Rust will be an alternative in the system domain, the gaming "core" is still created with C++.

Also, compilers. Most modern compiler projects (LLVM, TVM, Tiramisu, MLIR, Lift) are written in C++, and compilers are among the most long-lived software projects.

C++ seems to becoming like Fortran. The old joke is we don't know what language physicist will be using in the future, but we know it will be called Fortran.

LISP will still be there running like a river of molten lava inspiring future generations of language designers :-)

Perl isn't as popular as it was 20 years ago, but it's still very present - and now that ruby has been around as long as perl had been, I'd venture that ruby will be a smell we find in code junk drawers for decades and decades to come.

But Perl is more than 20 years old. It was released in 1987. Even Perl 5 is 25 years old now. Now I do think Perl 6 is going to be around for a long time and will eventually fill the niche served by Perl 5 while being able to compete with modern languages.

Java once they merge all the nice features from Kotlin and Scala.

I believe Java is more than 20 years old.

English, Spanish, and Chinese. They'll be around forever.

Swift, Elixir

Elixir seems awesome

wow no one said Java yet!

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact