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January 25, 2005
OT: On language names (Was: Re: What kind of app could D be especially suitable for?)
>>> Or, maybe a smaller version of D (D--? ;) )
>> Lets call it "Dmin".
> If we really want to be clever, we could call it "d".

This got me thinking about language names in general. And how the 
requisites around a new language have changed in the past two decades.

((Please everybody, I'm not critisicing D here. This is just thoughts 
about languages to be.))   :-)

In the old days, a language name like C was cool. It was easy to 
remember, short, and at the time to-the-point, considering its origins. 
It was easy to spot on book covers and backs, mainly because you could 
print it with a huge font.

Today such a name would be awkward and a hindrance to a rapid spread of 
know-how about it. Why? Well, today information about a language is 
sought on the net, and a name that is inconvenient to search for should 
be avoided. Ideally, a name should give you "all" the pertinent hits, 
and "no" false hits.

Bad examples would be all one-character names (a A B 1 0 Z = :, etc.). 
Good examples (I hope) are zoobyboo, GungkFoo, JavaScript, KoffeeWrite, 
and so on. (We all know the name JavaScript is a bit dishonest, but it 
still is an excellent example here.)

To help search engines differentiate between posted code and discussion 
about the language, there should be a source code convention. Pascal 
used to have (a redundant) compulsory line at the very beginning

program <program name here>

Carrying this idea forward, we could have the compiler enforce that the 
language name appear at the very start. Add to this the major and minor 
version of the language, and we're pretty well off.

KoffeeWrite 2.5: myprog.kw
blabla blabla
blabla
blabla blabla blabla

What exactly is done with the version number depends. If the language is 
a compiled language, then the compiler might enforce and check that the 
number is acceptable. Say, the difference between v2.5 and v2.4 is only 
bug fixes, then 2.4 code would be accepted as-is. Otherwise, any time 
there is a compile time error, the compiler would remind you about a 
possible version problem. If we are ambitious, any newer compiler would 
accept old code and compile it in "compatibility mode".

"Everybody" uses an IDE in the future, and it would write the first line 
for you.

Well, version numbers or not, starting a new language today needs a more 
professional attitude, way beyond just having a good syntax and a bug 
free reference implementation. It's like with cars: in 1910 it was 
enough that you took a barn door and slapped 4 wheels on it, and an 
engine. Today, a new car goes through research and development and 
marketing study -- even before anyone even considers making a clay 
model, let alone a prototype.

If you want success for the language, you have to be diligent, right 
from the start. Philip Morris spent millions to find out the exact shade 
of red to use on packs of Marlboro cigarrettes.

With the number of programming languages growing exponentially (at least 
in the immediately foreseeable future), the scene is like a car market 
where everyone has a self-made "best car in the world", but nobody ever 
hired a salesman or a marketing company.

The choice of name is arguably more important than any one of the 
thousands of single language and design decisions.
January 26, 2005
Re: On language names (Was: Re: What kind of app could D be especially suitable for?)
"Georg Wrede" <georg.wrede@nospam.org> wrote in message
news:41F61D6E.5090507@nospam.org...
> The choice of name is arguably more important than any one of the
> thousands of single language and design decisions.

I agree. I understand the issue with googling "D", but calling D "D" has
been effective in interesting the kinds of programmers who would be
interested in a reengineering of C++. It started out as a nickname, but it
soon became obvious that "D" was the right name for the language.
January 26, 2005
Re: What kind of app could D be especially suitable for?
Hi!

> - Games, games, games.  We've seen some inital offerings from the far east
> in the form of Warning Forever and Torus Trooper; both of which are great
> games. Its amazing what SDL bindings and a nose for fast code can
> accomplish (both of the above play nicely on my 400Mhz P2).

I'm currently learning to code games with D, but with Allegro. This is one
of my dreams:) I've never found before a language so nice to the
programmer, and still fast and...

> To that end, I've put off replacing my
> existing machine (the "400Mhz Franken-vunder-box") as the
> code-compile-test loop is lightning fast compared to the competition; Its
> *very* usable at this speed.

Yes, this is absolutely wonderful :) I have a P3 500 and compilation is near
real time:)) It looks like an interpreted language:))

Byez!!!

Carotinho
January 26, 2005
Re (OT): What kind of app could D be especially suitable for?
Carotinho wrote:
> Yes, this is absolutely wonderful :) I have a P3 500 and compilation is near
> real time:)) It looks like an interpreted language:))

Yeah... but that's why D is evil. Most programmers love long compile 
times. Why ? Check this out: 
http://www.flipcode.com/cgi-bin/fcarticles.cgi?show=63877
We definitely need something like this in D...
January 26, 2005
Re: What kind of app could D be especially suitable for?
"Carotinho" <carotinobg@yahoo.it> wrote in message
news:ct6ov6$l0$1@digitaldaemon.com...
> > To that end, I've put off replacing my
> > existing machine (the "400Mhz Franken-vunder-box") as the
> > code-compile-test loop is lightning fast compared to the competition;
Its
> > *very* usable at this speed.
>
> Yes, this is absolutely wonderful :) I have a P3 500 and compilation is
near
> real time:)) It looks like an interpreted language:))

That's one of the reasons I use an old machine to do development on. It
motivates me to keep it running fast.
January 26, 2005
Re: Re (OT): What kind of app could D be especially suitable for?
h3r3tic wrote:

>> Yes, this is absolutely wonderful :) I have a P3 500 and compilation 
>> is near real time:)) It looks like an interpreted language:))
> 
> Yeah... but that's why D is evil. Most programmers love long compile 
> times.

It also varies a lot between project size and D compiler,
for instance Mango takes quite a while to compile with GDC...

ccache and Make makes most C compilations quite speedy as well.
(http://ccache.samba.org/)

--anders
January 26, 2005
Re: Re (OT): What kind of app could D be especially suitable for?
"Anders F Björklund" <afb@algonet.se> wrote in message
news:ct7k6s$12f7$1@digitaldaemon.com...
> It also varies a lot between project size and D compiler,
> for instance Mango takes quite a while to compile with GDC...

There was a bug in the compiler I fixed in .110 or .111 that resulted in
some very slow compiles for complex projects. Some compiles speeded up by a
factor of a thousand or more <g>.
January 26, 2005
Re: Re (OT): What kind of app could D be especially suitable for?
Walter wrote:

>>It also varies a lot between project size and D compiler,
>>for instance Mango takes quite a while to compile with GDC...
> 
> There was a bug in the compiler I fixed in .110 or .111 that resulted in
> some very slow compiles for complex projects. Some compiles speeded up by a
> factor of a thousand or more <g>.

Well,
speed isn't the most important problem - as it fails...
http://www.digitalmars.com/drn-bin/wwwnews?D.gnu/981

Currently it also has to give all the sources as
input to the dmd tool, instead of just compiling
the changed sources (some kind of dependency thing?)

--anders
January 26, 2005
Re: On language names (Was: Re: What kind of app could D be especially suitable for?)
Walter wrote:
> "Georg Wrede" <georg.wrede@nospam.org> wrote in message
> news:41F61D6E.5090507@nospam.org...
> 
>>The choice of name is arguably more important than any one of the
>>thousands of single language and design decisions.
> 
> 
> I agree. I understand the issue with googling "D", but calling D "D" has
> been effective in interesting the kinds of programmers who would be
> interested in a reengineering of C++. It started out as a nickname, but it
> soon became obvious that "D" was the right name for the language.

Right. Every rule has its exceptions, and D definitely is one. 
Considering the target audience of D and the origins of D, one could 
hardly come up with a more suitable name! Also, the kind of guys we want 
here have to be literate enough to search successfully for single-letter 
stuff on the net.

Besides, we want to make D so good that an E never will appear. :-)
January 26, 2005
Re: What kind of app could D be especially suitable for?
Andy Friesen wrote:
<snip>
> If we really want to be clever, we could call it "d".

Hmm ... how would that name be pronounced?

And what would its filename extension be?  .D?

Of course, it could spark confusion on file systems that aren't even 
case-retentive.  But at least MS-DOS and Windows 3.x and below are 
16-bit systems, and so the ambiguity is gone (at least as long as you're 
coding/compiling for the local platform).

Stewart.

-- 
My e-mail is valid but not my primary mailbox.  Please keep replies on 
the 'group where everyone may benefit.
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