On Tue, Feb 20, 2001 at 12:10:53PM -0600, Garrett Goebel wrote:
> o Will experiences from Ruby be assimilated back into Perl?
> o What impact will C# and .NET have on Perl 6? Don't forget
> Larry's required reading recommendation:
> o Where will the foreign function interface be heading?
The task and the art of language design is - I hate to use the word
"holistic", but, well - holistic.
It's like, oh, I don't know, writing music. You can't do it in a vacuum -
everything you hear influences you. Everything feeds in - whether it was what
you thought sucked about your last piece, or what worked about your last
piece, or interesting techniques in something you've just heard, or maybe just
the style and "feeling" of a few composers you've been listening to recently.
Culture matters a *lot*. If I spent a load of time in Canadia, I'd probably
start picking up a few Canadian idioms in my own speech. In that case of
speech, it's hard to avoid them; for language design, they only become
explicit by design. But they're still implicit influences.
So I think it's impossible that interesting things about Ruby, C#, Japanese,
and everything else out there would *not* be *an influence* to some degree.
Language design is more fun than writing music because you can generalise the
good parts of your influences - if I ripped off one of Michael Nyman's vocal
lines, I'd be a plagiarist, but if I could find a way of ripping off the
*potential* to create vocal lines like his, then I've done something far more
valuable and interesting. (aside: Python is Mahler. Discuss.) So while we may
not end up doing things the way Ruby or Python does them, we'll certainly have
the ability to some something like them.
Or maybe we won't. There has to be some point to having other languages
around, after all. :)
What happens if a big asteroid hits the Earth? Judging from realistic
simulations involving a sledge hammer and a common laboratory frog, we
can assume it will be pretty bad. - Dave Barry