Isn't AIX developed by IBM? HP maintains HP-UX if I'm not mistaken.
Even in the linux world, PERL is used by many quants for their analytics...not just to parse files, but as an alternative to R, matlab, etc.
Also, Perl is A Real Language, unlike.. ah, >.>, Excel.
For example, you need to manage a stream of data. You have prices coming in and you need to publish another set of prices going out (perhaps you are trying to peg quotes in the market off another set of quotes...details don't matter). Use Excel's RTD to put incoming prices into some cells. Calculate the outgoing price by typing out a simple formula which references the original cells.
All other commonly used languages are more batch oriented, rather than stream oriented. In other languages, the code will implement some sort of call-back method to handle incoming data. This program will need some sort of "main" method. Perhaps the program will need to be compiled. Certainly the user will have to know how to run it.
A non-programmer will obviously pick the excel solution (and many programmers will as well).
The financial industry does lots of things ass backwards -- a few of them really do make sense :)
Disclaimer: I created a flow-based system for home and building automation (no doubt one of many), so I tend to see uses for it everywhere ;).
Conal Elliot has done some interesting work in the area of "visual programming." The following is a good paper, but entirely academic: http://lambda-the-ultimate.org/node/2159.
It reminded me of LabView.
I have to remind myself that these came out prior to the 2007 & 2010 versions of excel, and they ignored the most important recommendations and went with UI based "improvements" instead.
These guys at Microsoft Cambridge Research are wasted as a talent, Its as if MSFT have "bought" them as a way of keeping ideas that are disruptive to their current streams of income under control.
I mean the ideas are not hoarded, they are published, F# is open sourced and SPJ hacks on haskell. Where did you draw your conclusion from?
Oh wait, I forgot this is HN.
Where have you found Excel's performance to be inadequate?
- on any calculations that are iterative,
- the recacluation rate is limited to something like once per second,
- sheets containing over 2000 market positions getting real time quotes grind to a halt.
- any time you have more than about 20,000 calls out to a COM component per sheet
- large vba functions, it seems vba is about an order of magnitude slower than the corresponding Excel built in methods.
TL/DR large sheets, dde, COM, heavy use of iterative solvers, large amounts of vba, all make excel really slow down.
Having said all that Excel is really awesome, it's just not for big data:)
It seems much more likely to me that the real underlying driver is the level of customisability they need. They're talking about making scheduler changes to the kernel and building the whole OS themselves - that's a level of control Windows (or any other closed-source option) doesn't offer.
> "The trading shops saw that the lowest-latency solutions would only be possible with Linux," Lameter said. "The older Unixes couldn't move as fast as Linux did."