Most popular programming languages 1965-2019 (visualised)

Ola Fosheim Grøstad ola.fosheim.grostad at
Fri Oct 11 17:05:47 UTC 2019

On Friday, 11 October 2019 at 10:06:46 UTC, Chris wrote:
> Objective-C could only become "big" because of Apple, but when 
> I first saw Mac OS X, I knew they'd be big. A lot of people 
> laughed and said "Oh, the shiny icons, all Mickey Mouse!" But 
> Jobs did the job well.

Right, but there is also a social factor. Many had fond memories 
of their first mac, their first computer. Although the machine 
itself was crazy expensive, Apple provided "cheap" laser printers 
by driving it from the computer rather than building the 
rendering engine into the printer. So mac+printer was not 
unreasonable for office use with high quality printing. So, in 
this period of Microsoft being too dominating, there were plenty 
of buyers that wanted Mac to be great again.

> Now, this begs the question: To which extent do PLs influence 
> the course of technology (e.g. C in the 80ies) and to which 
> extent does the demand / the market created by new technologies 
> influence PLs and their use? It's a bit like the hen and the 
> egg, ain't it?

Javascript clearly had an impact, but it might have happened with 
another language too. As a consequence it is very difficult to 
say what would have happened.

Would Go and Swift have the same feature set if D had not 
existed? Difficult to say. Have authors of other languages read 
the D forums and gotten inspiration from what they have read? 
Maybe, I don't know. Swift have at least picked up lambdas like 
this "{$0 < $1}", maybe all on their own, maybe they were 
inspired from /bin/sh, but I remember arguing for it in the 
forums. We'll never know how languages actually evolve... social 
dynamics are kind of messy.

> If anything, the video depicts a changing world and society and 
> PLs are just one indicator.

Yeah, but is a bit scary that anything that is presented visually 
in a crisp and clean manner based on "reputable datasets" are 
intuitively taken as true. Human beings have very little 
resistance to certain rhetorics. For this topic it was not a big 
deal, but for other topics the political connotations are not so 
great. Especially in this day and age of AI recommender systems 
("Did you like this biased presentation? Then you probably also 
will like this biased presentation!" ;-)

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