Future of D 2.x as stable/bug fix, and what's next for D 3.x

Russel Winder russel at winder.org.uk
Fri Sep 4 07:08:40 UTC 2020

On Wed, 2020-09-02 at 10:16 +0000, Ola Fosheim Grøstad via Digitalmars-d
> On Wednesday, 2 September 2020 at 09:20:26 UTC, Russel Winder 
> wrote:
> > C, C++, and Rust folk (who are the bulk of the anti-GC 
> > community) are already firmly anti-D – I suspect no amount of 
> > non-GC D is going to change their minds as to what D is as a 
> > programming language.
> I wouldn't expect people who have invested in Rust to give up on 
> the borrow checker, but many past and current D programmers have 
> one foot in C++ land.

Investing in Rust means investing in the non-GC mind-set. It is easily done,
and has many benefits in many areas of software development. In many other
areas accepting a GC mind-set is also a benefit, witness the rise of Go.

My feeling is that C++20 and C++23 are likely to satisfy C++ addicts such that
any thoughts of using D get washed away.

My belief is that programmers now attribute programming languages as no-GC,
GC-possible, and GC – with GC-possible being a very small set.

I have no problem iwth D trying to be both GC and non-GC for those D
programmers that feel they need it, but D is very much seen fairly widely as a
GC language, I see no reason to fight that.

> Right now Go is cutting into both C++ and Java for light weight 
> servers. Creating a competing runtime is out of scope for most 
> languages. And heavy weight servers will not be implemented with 
> smaller languages (more likely to go with industry standards). If 
> you want to create a lightweight GC server today the most sane 
> business choice is Go or node.js.

I am not sure Go is cutting into C++, but I am a bit out of that arena just
now with no ACCU conferences this last year. Go is certainly taking some of
the old Java stuff, mostly to do with containers, etc.

Do not underestimate Python as a way of developing GC Web servers. Also of
course Web servers are just a small bit of the overall programming milieu.

> There are also many small languages out there that are trying to 
> be suitable for that space: Crystal, Nim, V... that space is 
> getting crowded.
> Zig appears to do a better job of distinguishing itself, e.g. 
> attract authors of emulators, hobby OSes etc.

Obviously the set of mainstream programming languages change, but most
programmers only even think about alternatives to the current set once a new
one is established. I cannot see any of the set you mention breaking through.
D on the other hand is already there, just not as used as perhaps it should

Dr Russel Winder      t: +44 20 7585 2200
41 Buckmaster Road    m: +44 7770 465 077
London SW11 1EN, UK   w: www.russel.org.uk

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