Blue Collar Languages

Cay Horstmann wrote an interesting response to Stephen Colebourne’s NBJL post:

Creating a “blue collar” language isn’t something that happens every day.

When done by “blue collar” people who have sketchy knowledge of programming language theory, the result is often problematic. Look at PHP–I trust that I won’t have to elaborate… Or Groovy, many of whose properties (particularly in the MOP) are under-specified and constantly shifting.

Few “white collar” people have an interest in designing a blue-collar language. They give us languages that dazzle us with their brilliance and innovation. After all, that’s what a researcher is rewarded for.

Interestingly he made no mention of Fantom in this context, which means I assume he hasn’t looked at it any detail. That was one of the explicit design goals.

Which makes me wonder – do people pass over Fantom because of the exact same reasons they search for new languages? You want a simpler, more expressive language, with great APIs, that make your life easier 9-5. But you take a look at Fantom, and move right along, since you don’t see buzzwords like monads, or some ground breaking new syntax?

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