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Which language would you want to see take over the world?

avalander profile image Avalander ・1 min read

Let's imagine for a second that we live in a world where all programming languages are equally suited for any task. Performance, memory footprint, compile time, executable/runtime size and compatibility, and similar factors are entirely irrelevant. Valid criteria could be personal taste, perceived elegance and beauty of the language, simplicity, easiness to use, and so forth.

If any programming language could fulfill equally well the requirements for any application/system and run anywhere, which language would you like to see everything written in?

My personal choice would be Lisp. I think Lisp is beautifully simple, there are very few syntactical constructs, it's easy to extend with macros and very suitable for functional programming.

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"Biography is irrelevant" - Seven of nine (probably) if she was asked that question.


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(1) No one should be forced to unilaterally use a language they despise the syntax of - for every language, there is someone who has objective reasons to hate the syntax, behavior, or design of it.

(2) Every language is uniquely suited to a particular set of use cases. No language is ubiquitous in its design. Python is ill-suited for systems programming, but C is ill-suited for rapidly designing good interfaces. FORTRAN is superb for scientific computing and advanced math, but it could never fill the shoes of Ruby in web application design; and Ruby could never take FORTRAN's place in scientific computing and advanced math.

I don't want to fall into the trap of presuming my preferences are superior to everyone else's, so I hope no language ever "takes over the world". I'd rather use the ones I know and like (C++, Python, C, FORTRAN) for the tasks they are best suited, and leave the rest alone for the enjoyment and productivity of others.


C# - if CSharp can manage to be independent from .NET and compile directly to machine code instead of IL, it could potentially take over the world. However, the fact that .NET is now natively running on Linux and Mac is a good start.

C# architecture is very clean and extensible. Its like JavaScript + Java + C++ but as powerful as python.


Plain English. So that I could write something like 1+1= and get 2, or 'calculate distance from my location to the moon' and get a sensible answer. And English just happens to be the easiest to learn and most widely used language in the world (in my humble opinion).

If my answer was restricted to programming languages I'd pick javascript. After trying some 6 languages I ended up preferring it for ease of use. Tried python, Java, c++, c#, ruby but preferred js as closest alternative to English. Easy to use and you can build an interactive GUI with it (html+css+js = web app, similar to windows forms app but works anywhere, like java).

Haven't tried lisp yet.


Wolfram Alpha is quite near this already!


That's an interesting take, I hadn't considered this perspective :)


Thing is: I love programming, it is like a Lego constructor with tiny pieces, and you can build practically anything with it. It can be considered a type of art. But as a tool it should be both simple and universal, something that doesn't require special knowledge and years of training to use. English is a commonly used language, it is frequently used to give commands and as such it could be considered the most frequently used programming language. And we programmers are a button-mashing walking-talking human-machine interface that translate English into one of the programming languages! :D

It could be just me, though - I started programming because I needed a specific automation tool and my platform of choice offered a simple scripting language, which I just picked up and started hacking. And then it grew on me, but the idea that programming is just a way to get stuff done remains.


Performance, memory footprint, compile time, executable/runtime size and compatibility, and similar factors are entirely irrelevant.

I really feel like I use Ruby for web development despite all these issues already, so I guess that's my answer. On the other hand, I mostly use it for the community/vision/web dev support via Rails. I think the ideal language is one that has a helpful type system and compiler, along with a helpful IDE that everyone uses.

For any language to really work globally, I think it always needs to have first class popular support. I've never been one of those people who wants to use my favorite language in the wrong environment just because there's a tool that lets me do it. I want to be working with the language that's going to get the fastest updates, have most native API features, have the most Stack Overflow answers and DEV discussions, etc.


OK, I'll bite :)

An appropriate meta-programming language: one where I (or any other humans - before someone suggests it) don't have to do anything between expressing the problem and getting the solution!

Maybe some combination of voice recognition, intention inference, genetic algorithms and continuous deployment technologies that iterates automatically until I signal that a solution has occurred, possibly by a change of mood being detected... or Skynet showing up.


None, it would be awful to learn it/work with it, it would have to have a huge degree of constructs and abstract layers to be good at that many things.

But I hope it will have the Engineering productivity of Go.


But it's a hypothetical world we're talking about. Bringing in constraints and common sense from the real world makes it boring :P


In my fantasy world Go already did that :))


Clojure it's very lisp. It's the future given how fast machine are today.


Clojure has been my language of choice for hobby projects for a while now, but I've been slowly starting to love Elixir. Also, I use F# as much as possible in my day-to-day .NET development.

If I could have Clojure's macros, OTP, and F#/OCaml's type system, F#'s type providers... that would probably be an ugly language, but I'd love it!


Lisp has already taken over the world, considering its success in artificial intelligence and counting Python as a Lisp dialect. Also, Scheme still has a loyal (and growing) fan base.

Regarding beauty and elegance, I'd still say that Common Lisp would probably be agreeable.


I'd say it still has a bit to go to take over the world, though. It's virtually unused in OS and embedded systems, for instance. And even though there is ClojureScript, it's not widely used in web programming.


You don't know that unless you see the source code. ;-)

Haha, that is true, but I know at least that Linux is not written in lisp.


Something that was a mashup of Lisp, Python, and Ruby. Something where you could write a quick-n-dirty implementation in Ruby, but then clean it up and turn on strict mode and it would look more like Python (minus some unnecessary punctuation). Also every statement would have an S-Expression equivalent, so you could write macros.


Sounds like Julia to me :p

"..We want the speed of C with the dynamism of Ruby. We want a language that’s homoiconic, with true macros like Lisp, but with obvious, familiar mathematical notation like Matlab. We want something as usable for general programming as Python, as easy for statistics as R, as natural for string processing as Perl, as powerful for linear algebra as Matlab, as good at gluing programs together as the shell."



Looks like it has the kind of macro system I'm talking about. I don't know how I feel about the language as a whole, but I'm glad people are exploring in this direction.


That would be an interesting language indeed!


Whatever language skynet is written in. Fuck this world!


Haha, I kinda expected you to say MojiScript.


lol. Maybe MojiScript and the language that brings on the destruction of the human race are one and the same. Or maybe I have had too much rum. It's probably the latter. Ya let's just say it's the later.

This is exactly how I imagined it would go. lol

Let's make it happen, hahaha!


Performance, memory footprint, compile time, executable/runtime size and compatibility, and similar factors are entirely irrelevant.

But why? Performance, compatibility and compile time are part of ease of use.

So in real life, Rust, because of static analysis, module ecosystem, community, and the above. I can't honestly say the syntax is bad, and some of the constructs are really good. Most importantly, the "personal taste" is achieved by me not feeling the shame of expensive abstractions while still using semantic and ergonomic abstraction.

But if laws of physics were broken, probably Haskell, since I never tried Lisp.


But why? Performance, compatibility and compile time are part of ease of use.

Because I don't want to hear that C is faster than anything else, Javascript has an npm package for anything you might ever need to do, and Java runs everywhere.

Hypothetically, if I were to create a programming language and I were designing the syntax, knowing what languages developers find elegant, simple, easy to work with and so on, would help me choose a few language's syntax to draw inspiration from. Knowing that someone prefers C because it runs fast and has a small executable size would be largely irrelevant for me.


Java runs everywhere

"runs" is a bit generous, don't you think?
Frankly, at this point, JavaScript might "run" in more places.
But C beats both and I don't see how it won't continue to.


In an ideal world, i'd like to have the simplicity of python combined with a type system along the lines of haskell or scala, and the safety of rust. altough, when choosing a language that exists right now, i'd probably go with kotlin (rust being to difficult to use in some areas, and python lacks proper compile checks, and kotlin has at least some levels of null safety)


I'm going to say JavaScript and then proceed to run away.


A version of haskell that has dependent types. It would be nice to not have to write unit tests, because your types proof the correctness of your program


Ooh, I didn't know about dependent types, interesting concept!


Are people working on that?


Yes, but it will take time. For now we have Idris, Coq and Agda


Hahaha, it would be awesome/frightening to see all software was written in that!


I want Rust to be Haskell(have Haskell's syntax), or Haskell to be Rust(have cargo, similar performance, similar community).


What exactly are you missing in everyday life of the syntax?


Instead of taking over the world, I'd love to see programming languages could come to a consensus in terms of the syntax. At least something like for while loop - while loop is the same in almost all kinds of languages.


It's difficult if you want to include the candidates that suitable for kids' education. You certainly want to give up some deep design philosophy if it can do its job well. Without that concern, I vote for OCaml for many same reasons you stated above. I'm an advocate for FP as well. Haskell is not perfect option because of its insists on pure functional approach. OCaml, on the other hand, can be more permissive for other programming paradigms.


I've been thinking about this and you know I can't find one?


JavaScript ... Oh wait NVM. It already took over the world.


I would like to see Javascript abdicate its throne. But there is more work to do before that can happen, or something worse might fill the power vacuum. :-)


I'd go with... Python.

I'm tempted by Golang but I think python just takes it for simplicity, lack of boilerplate, and just well.. love


Python is already such a world for data science :)