[e-lang] Programming Language Popularity Numbers

James Graves ansible at xnet.com
Sun Mar 11 12:38:14 CDT 2007


Mark S. Miller wrote:

> http://www.tiobe.com/tpci.htm

Interesting.

I have previously speculated that Javascript/ECMAScript will be the next
big language:

	http://reddit.com/info/13ycl/comments/c13zuv

This will mainly stem from highly interactive web applications like
Google Office.  Most of these applications will move away from AJAX to
Flash, because it is less clunky.  I've seen some amazing hacks in
browser-based Javascript (like 3-D rendering), but at the end of the
day, apps will be easier to write (and just as easy to deliver) using
Flash as the platform.

In a couple years, Google Office (and hopefully a few other worthy
competitors) will be "good enough" for most users in terms of features. 
And these online office suites will be better integrated with other
applications, including publishing to a website, e-mail, voice calls,
and other business applications like accounting.

What will really win people over are:

  1. No files.  In the simplest mode of operation, the user is not
  loading nor saving files.  I have seen too many errors by newbies
  where they save old contents over the current file, lose files, delete
  them accidentally, etc.

  2. On-line collaboration.  Any number of people (with the apporpriate
  permission) can look at the same spreadsheet in real-time.  No
  e-mailing files around, or checking files into and out of version
  control.  No making edits to the old version, and then having to merge
  the changes manually.

  3. Reliability.  Related to point #1.  Backups are taken care of by
  professional IT.  Losing data from your PC crashing will be a thing
  of the past.  

Basically, all you will need is an Internet connection.  Any device that
can run a decent browser (and Flash, of course) will give you all the
applications you need.  Don't really need Windows, nor MS Office.

This is assuming that you are willing to trust Google with all your
data.  I am not, but there are plenty of people who aren't as picky.
Faced with the complexity of running and maintaining a desktop OS and
applications, I think many people will say "screw it" and just use
Google instead.  It is easy and it works.  Path of least resistance.

There are many, many other implications of having Google becoming a
major player in the application space.  Microsoft is in deep trouble,
and they know it.  With a cheap Internet appliance running Linux and
accessing online applications, both their major revenue streams are
threatened.

Microsoft can't even leverage their existing codebase for this new breed
of web-based applications.  Everything will have to be written from
scratch.  So now the playing field is wide open, and we should see some
new major players here.

Truly, we live in interesting times.

James


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