Sunday, March 05, 2006

A short comment on the future of programming languages

I've caught some recent articles and commentary asking a basic question of "What's next for programming langauges?" and I though I'd make a quick and short stab at a guess.

Considering a few elements to the soup that I think are key: the rise of dynamic languages and rapid development, the prevelence of the internet spreading word and use of multiple APIs and frameworks, and an increasing need for portability over a range of targets. I think this will lead to one inevitable move in software, but who makes it is anyone's guess.

We're going to see first one, and then many, dynamic, binary-compiled languages. We'll see things that allow two games to be written, one using Direct3D and one using OpenGL, and to compile them for the same target, using either. We'll see the ability for compilers to restructure the original code in such a way that library APIs will be more than calls to link to, but templates that will portray the intentions of the progarmmers and be able to adapt them to the target in question.

I call this "Hard Linked Libraries", but I'm sure a dozen names will surface. Python could make moves toward something like this, I'm sure. But my guess is that eventually something will surface in .Net to do things along these lines, probably using or extending generics.

I'll post more, and maybe some mockups. What do you think? Is this likely or feasable or stupid?
I write here about programming, how to program better, things I think are neat and are related to programming. I might write other things at my personal website.

I am happily employed by the excellent Caktus Group, located in beautiful and friendly Carrboro, NC, where I work with Python, Django, and Javascript.

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