Nim programming language finally hit 1.0

Russel Winder russel at
Fri Sep 27 17:37:14 UTC 2019

On Fri, 2019-09-27 at 15:16 +0000, Ola Fosheim Grøstad via Digitalmars-d
> Right. I believe Python will be introduced in public schools in 
> Norway within the next decade or so.  A few years back University 
> of Oslo chose Python as their introduction language for alle the 
> science departments. Then the CS department introduce Java after 
> Python.  In more advanced physics courses students may choose 
> between Python and C++.

Subjects such as biology and physics and all the various variations are for
the moment settling on C++ for computational stuff and Python for
coordination, visualisation, and data rendering. As example astropy for most
of astronomy. It isn't that Python/C++ is the best choice per se, it is that
libraries got developed using the Python/C++ combination, and that people
working in the fields are introduced to these libraries as the de facto
standard for their subject. I cannot see  Nim, D, Chapel, etc. even denting
this traction of Python and C++, though at least Nim looks derivative of

Something similar is happening in data science, machine learning, and
artificial intelligence: Python has become the de facto standard because
someone chose to write all the libraries people needed in Python, NumPy, or

> Anyway, several books, say introduction course books in physics, 
> come in one edition for Matlab and another for Python.  Adding 
> more editions for other languages across the board seems unlikely 
> in the near future.

The use of Matlab was set because universities were given free licences, I
suspect as a loss leader to ensure people knew Matlab and expected to use it
when they moved to the world of work. However, over the 2007 to 2015 period it
was clear Matlab were charging too much and that Python was the obvious place
to move to. I ran many workshops over 2010 to 2015 retraining Matlab
programmers as Python programmers. Actually they were electrical engineers not
programmers who just wanted to solve problems. Matlab had the tools, but was
too expensive, they discovered Python also had the tools, and so they

I suspect there is beginning to be back pressure from the world of work to
universities against Matlab and for Python, but this is speculation on my

> You probably will find some for Java and some for Julia, but not 
> enough to cover all the courses for a bachelor.
> As more and more courses use programming as "advanced 
> calculators" and for simple didactic simulations we end up with a 
> situation where they want a single language for all science 
> topics. Preferably one that can be used interactively.

Having been an integral part of the late 1990s push for Java everywhere in
university to make teaching easier, it was a very big mistake. The late 1980s,
early 1990s situation of using two or three different programming languages
for the core university curriculum made for much better programmers. So Python
for everything in universities is a very bad idea as well, at least for CS
students – electrical engineering, biology, and physics students are in a
different boat.

> So Python seems to dominate as the tool of choice for "didactic 
> programming".
Dr Russel Winder      t: +44 20 7585 2200
41 Buckmaster Road    m: +44 7770 465 077
London SW11 1EN, UK   w:

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