| ||Ask HN: What's with all the new languages?|
60 points by enen on June 15, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 65 comments |
|I have no particular background in programming languages design and theory but It's been an exciting topic the last few years since a lot of new languages have gained popularity and also most of the big companies seem to have one or two of them in their portfolio (no need to list them all really C#, Go, Swift etc).
I've been also on an exploration lately into the history of computer science and reading about the Lisp family and Smalltalk as they seem to viewed as the better designed ones. There is also that quote from PG where he says langs that are invented for the use of the author tend to be better.
So what I don't understand and hope somebody here could shed some light on it is what's with all the new languages? How many of them really bring something new to the table, a better way than the old one? How is Go or Rust better than C C++ Ruby Python Lisps Java Smalltalk Erlang and whatnot. Are those languages designed for very specific cases where older languages can't cope with. When I read about Smalltalk or Lisp or Haskell people regard them as the pinnacle of programming language design and yet their popularity isn't really proportional to those statements.
How do languages get popular? Money, syntax, portability? Why did PHP rule the 90' and not Common Lisp or Erlang or whatever. Why do I read so much bad stuff about C++ from smart people yet it's one of the most popular languages. Why isn't Objective-C more popular since it is too C with classes? Why Java and not Self?|
When I ask those questions I am in no way trying to discredit new languages and their usefulness, I am just young, naive, not very smart and trying to get and idea of how the real world of programming and computer works.
Applications are open for YC Summer 2019
| Apply to YC