Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Programming ideas and time to mature

Author:Jacob Levy
Posted:8/29/1999; 8:51:55 PM
Topic:Programming ideas and time to mature
Msg #:10209
Prev/Next:10207 / 10210

Dave's recent ruminations on Algol-60 and its relation to UserTalk reminded me of an urban legend about software: some pundits believe that it takes about 20-30 years for novel approaches in programming languages to become mainstream.

Take Algol-60, whose ideas became mainstream in C, Pascal and C++ in the '80s and '90s.

Take scripting. Scripting emerged in the early nineties as an approach to programming and has not yet bloomed as fully as it can. If this time to mature dictum is to be believed, if the full impact of scripting is to be realized, we should expect that to occur around 2010-2015.

Take ODBs. Object data bases are relatively new and have not had their full potential impact yet. I believe they were also introduced in the '80s, so by that measure they should show full potential around 2000-2010, if the maturity argument is valid.

One interesting set of questions is: why does it take so long? does the Internet change the speed with which ideas and implementations mature?


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