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Do programming languages have terroir?

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5th Jan 2011 | 02:28

James Noble gave a talk at ECOOP 2009 called "the myths of object-orientation". When I read the paper version the following quote caught my eye:

When I was learning Smalltalk, [Brian Boutel] used to complain about “Californian” programming — no types, dynamic dispatch, a relaxed interactive programming environment — much warmer, and much less bracing, than Oregon or Glasgow that gave birth to his beloved Haskell. So I wonder if, like wine, do programming languages have terroir? What influence does the environment that nurtures a programming language, or a programming principle, or a myth, have on the result? Smalltalk is Californian, Dick Gabriel has described how Unix (and C) comes from the Bell Labs engineering culture, but what of the rest?

The talk as a whole is very much tongue-in-cheek, but the idea is intriguing even if it isn't to be taken too seriously. There's more discussion at Lambda the Ultimate.

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Comments {1}

My own contribution to the taxonomy of languages: website development languages

from: pauamma
date: 7th Jan 2011 16:55 (UTC)

History: perl
Tragedy: Java
Farce: PHP

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