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Discussion on: Programming Language Dictatorship

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Vladimir Sapronov Author • Edited on

Thank you for thorough comment! I agree with most of statements.

Though I don't think you argue with main premise of the article: dictatorship+cult. It sounds more like you are trying to defend it as the best of way of designing a language.

I have mentioned specific cases where dictatorship laughably failed. I picked those specific cases (out of many) because they are hard to argue with. If someone thinks those features were not needed because they are contrary to the main language design then why they are being added now? Isn't it even worse then - spoiling holistic design with alien concepts?

I would like to apply this argument to your thought regarding FP VS OOP design. I think you would agree that lately hybrid language design is taking the world. May be it is just latest trend and it's reasonably taking time for languages designs to pickup on this? The idea of hybrid FP-OOP is not innovative. Somewhere in 2002-2003 teachers at university were telling us (potentially future programmers) that "you will see more and more FP features in all languages" and then they were able to substantiate this prediction. If only some of Java core team could attend these lectures!

Finally, my selection of examples has another pattern. It's always referring to feature that is already implemented in competing (in some sense) language. When something appears in one of them isn't it natural and worth to (at least) consider same improvement for another one? You don't need to guess, you can experiment with it, try to use it in the other language see if it's worthy or not. In fact good software projects are doing it all the time - checking what competitors are doing. Somehow lambda functions weren't making sense for Java designers even years after they were implemented in C#. They are both OOP by nature, no FP VS OOP drama here.

"you need to really have all sides on your side, it is like politics" - well, there are some big differences with politics. If you make big mistakes as a decision maker (personally or in a group) you will be voted out. Unless, you know, you are a dictator...

I hope you understand that this article is to entertain reader. It's not one big complain, though you are free to view it the way you want. I'm happy as long as you read it and said "good read".