November 03, 2008
"Nick Sabalausky" <a@a.a> wrote in message news:gel5tu$1a1v$1@digitalmars.com...
> "Clay Smith" <clayasaurus@gmail.com> wrote in message news:gej5nr$13jd$1@digitalmars.com...
>> Tony wrote:
>>> Someone has to ask the obvious question! (The question is in the subject of this post).
>>>
>>> Tony
>>
>> Technically, I'd consider C++ to be undead. Old, ugly, its zombie rotting flesh never seems to die. It lives by eating the brains of C programmers.
>>
>> ~ Clay
>
> Funny you mention that, the analogies I normally think of for C++ are either a 120+ year-old on life support or, as you said, the living dead. It's long past it's time, but people just won't let it finally rest (probably because, aside from D, there's no modern language that's a suitable replacement for C++ in *all* of C++'s use-cases. C# and Java, for instance, are only partial replacements. They can handle many of C++'s uses, but not all.)

The "in *all* of C++'s use-cases" part is probably the way to create a dinosaur (call it E, F or G or whatever). The concept of "general purpose language" is getting a bit long-toothed?

Tony


November 03, 2008
"Tony" <tonytech08@gmail.com> wrote in message news:genht8$2fcg$1@digitalmars.com...
>
> "Nick Sabalausky" <a@a.a> wrote in message news:gel5tu$1a1v$1@digitalmars.com...
>> "Clay Smith" <clayasaurus@gmail.com> wrote in message news:gej5nr$13jd$1@digitalmars.com...
>>> Tony wrote:
>>>> Someone has to ask the obvious question! (The question is in the subject of this post).
>>>>
>>>> Tony
>>>
>>> Technically, I'd consider C++ to be undead. Old, ugly, its zombie rotting flesh never seems to die. It lives by eating the brains of C programmers.
>>>
>>> ~ Clay
>>
>> Funny you mention that, the analogies I normally think of for C++ are either a 120+ year-old on life support or, as you said, the living dead. It's long past it's time, but people just won't let it finally rest (probably because, aside from D, there's no modern language that's a suitable replacement for C++ in *all* of C++'s use-cases. C# and Java, for instance, are only partial replacements. They can handle many of C++'s uses, but not all.)
>
> The "in *all* of C++'s use-cases" part is probably the way to create a dinosaur (call it E, F or G or whatever). The concept of "general purpose language" is getting a bit long-toothed?
>
> Tony

I strongly disagree. The concept of domain-specific languages is ultra-trendy these days (probably promoted by the same knuckleheads that hailed things like pure-OO, pure-functional, and Extreme Programming as silver bullets). But I consider domain-specific languages to be purely a symptom of a strong need for a better general purpose language.

Let's face it: programming needs and uses have expanded so much over the last decade or so that C/C++ hasn't really been a "general purpose" language for quite some time. These days it's a systems/performance language instead. True, all the attempts at retrofitting it with modern-ish features to try to keep it general-purpose have turned it into a regular frankenstein's monster of a language, but that does nothing to disprove the viability of general purpose languages in general. It just demonstrates that C++ needs a reboot (hence: D). Heck, D is already far better as a general-purpose language than C/C++ (although it's still not quite there yet).

I'd *much* rather use a true general-purpose language (which, again, C++ is no longer an example of) than muck around with 500 different languages for every stupid little thing.

For example, have you ever tried doing web development? You can't realistically do anything nontrivial without tripping over at least handful of different, essentially domain-specific, languages: ECMAScript, (T)SQL, (X)HTML, XML, CSS, and either PHP, ASP/VBScript, ASP.NET/C#, Python or Ruby. And that's just the bare minimum for any non-trivial web site. For one thing, most of those are great examples of the fact that domain-specific languages do nothing to prevent piss-poor language design. But besides that: Conceptually, web development is one of the most trivial forms of programming out there. But the domain-specific language-soup realities of it have turned what should have been trivial into one of the programming world's biggest pains-in-the-ass. It's an absolute mess. I'm currently writing my first compiler, and I have in the past written homebrew for the Atari VCS, and an Asm sound driver for a multiprocessing microcontroller/embedded-device that has no sound hardware other than a generic DAC capability. All of those have proven to be far less pains-in-the-ass than any of my web development work. Considering the conceptual simplicity of the web, that's just absolutely pathetic.


November 03, 2008
"Nick Sabalausky" <a@a.a> wrote in message news:genrqm$1h4$1@digitalmars.com...
> "Tony" <tonytech08@gmail.com> wrote in message news:genht8$2fcg$1@digitalmars.com...
>>
>> "Nick Sabalausky" <a@a.a> wrote in message news:gel5tu$1a1v$1@digitalmars.com...
>>> "Clay Smith" <clayasaurus@gmail.com> wrote in message news:gej5nr$13jd$1@digitalmars.com...
>>>> Tony wrote:
>>>>> Someone has to ask the obvious question! (The question is in the subject of this post).
>>>>>
>>>>> Tony
>>>>
>>>> Technically, I'd consider C++ to be undead. Old, ugly, its zombie rotting flesh never seems to die. It lives by eating the brains of C programmers.
>>>>
>>>> ~ Clay
>>>
>>> Funny you mention that, the analogies I normally think of for C++ are either a 120+ year-old on life support or, as you said, the living dead. It's long past it's time, but people just won't let it finally rest (probably because, aside from D, there's no modern language that's a suitable replacement for C++ in *all* of C++'s use-cases. C# and Java, for instance, are only partial replacements. They can handle many of C++'s uses, but not all.)
>>
>> The "in *all* of C++'s use-cases" part is probably the way to create a dinosaur (call it E, F or G or whatever). The concept of "general purpose language" is getting a bit long-toothed?
>>
>> Tony
>
> I strongly disagree. The concept of domain-specific languages is ultra-trendy these days (probably promoted by the same knuckleheads that hailed things like pure-OO, pure-functional, and Extreme Programming as silver bullets).

> But I consider domain-specific languages to be purely a symptom of a strong need for a better general purpose language.

Probably. But to further on that, I would say that languages like C++ and D ARE the specialized ("domain specific") languages rather then the "general purpose" ones. Consider them as "where/when you need high level assembly language type of tool". Everyone who invents "the better C++" ends up in the same category as that overly complex, for a GP language, language.

>
> Let's face it: programming needs and uses have expanded so much over the last decade or so that C/C++ hasn't really been a "general purpose" language for quite some time.

"General Purpose Language" may indeed be an oxymoron. (All kinds of jokes noting 'GPL', omitted).

> These days it's a systems/performance language instead.

And not a very influential one at that, which really bogs down development.

> True, all the attempts at retrofitting it with modern-ish features to try to keep it general-purpose have turned it into a regular frankenstein's monster of a language, but that does nothing to disprove the viability of general purpose languages in general.

If you define "general purpose" like C++ does, then that's exactly what you will get: something trying to be all things to all people, which never works well.

> It just demonstrates that C++ needs a reboot (hence: D). Heck, D is already far better as a general-purpose language than C/C++ (although it's still not quite there yet).

Note that I put them in the same grouping, so you know where I stand with D. I mean, it's fine for those who like cosmic OO hiearchy in the implementation and also like GC (one HAS to use GC with D, right?). I have my own memory management architecture so I don't want to be forced to use something else.

>
> I'd *much* rather use a true general-purpose language (which, again, C++ is no longer an example of) than muck around with 500 different languages for every stupid little thing.

Now you're being typically extremist. There is continuum from 1 to 500. Obviously then the task becomes deciding where to draw the lines.

>
> For example, have you ever tried doing web development? You can't realistically do anything nontrivial without tripping over at least handful of different, essentially domain-specific, languages: ECMAScript, (T)SQL, (X)HTML, XML, CSS, and either PHP, ASP/VBScript, ASP.NET/C#, Python or Ruby.

I wouldn't do it that way. A lot of the difficulty is trying to get content specification and delivery technologies to work like a real program. You have specified a bunch of high level tools (not all nor most are languages in the sense of C, D etc BTW) and therefore made the development complex just by the sheer number of tools and therefore knowledge needed. If you think you need all that just because your website hosting provider supports those, maybe it's time to self-host and code up what you want with a small subset of tools: whatever you want to create the content, an embedded database, maybe ISAPI on Windows. Depending on how dynamic (read "program like") the website needs to be may cause some headaches because there is no good solution for that because the web was not designed to do that.

> And that's just the bare minimum for any non-trivial web site.

Not necessary at all.

> For one thing, most of those are great examples of the fact that domain-specific languages do nothing to prevent piss-poor language design.

I too don't want to use more languages than necessary (read: one). I want good libraries with a good "GPL" to handle most things. If you relegate the "domain specific" moniker to only such high level and disparate technologies that you mentioned, well, those are the things I avoid or want to avoid.

> But besides that: Conceptually, web development is one of the most trivial forms of programming out there. But the domain-specific language-soup realities of it have turned what should have been trivial into one of the programming world's biggest pains-in-the-ass. It's an absolute mess.

It's not that bad unless you are forced to program to your host's interfaces that they must maintain to control what one can do on a machine from a security point of view. If you are self-hosting, there are no such limits: you write the code and trust it to do what you want it to.

> I'm currently writing my first compiler, and I have in the past written homebrew for the Atari VCS, and an Asm sound driver for a multiprocessing microcontroller/embedded-device that has no sound hardware other than a generic DAC capability. All of those have proven to be far less pains-in-the-ass than any of my web development work. Considering the conceptual simplicity of the web, that's just absolutely pathetic.

Trying to make an elephant jump through a hoop is difficult, yes.

Tony


November 03, 2008
Nick Sabalausky wrote:
> [...]The concept of domain-specific languages is ultra-trendy these days (probably promoted by the same knuckleheads that hailed things like pure-OO, pure-functional, and Extreme Programming as silver bullets). But I consider domain-specific languages to be purely a symptom of a strong need for a better general purpose language.
> 

Totally agree. At my point of view it looks excacly the same. I started with pascal then moved to c/c++ at university but I abandoned it because of its ugliness and non intuitive application development. Then I found working with PHP/JAVA much easier but I was disappointed by its fundamentals (please let me forget about PHP as a programming language). And when I was left without any hope I saw a Bright light. :D

For me D takes the best of everything I have seen. Of course it isn't perfect but takes the right course and I want to be aboard.

> Let's face it: programming needs and uses have expanded so much over the last decade or so that C/C++ hasn't really been a "general purpose" language for quite some time. These days it's a systems/performance language instead. True, all the attempts at retrofitting it with modern-ish features to try to keep it general-purpose have turned it into a regular frankenstein's monster of a language, but that does nothing to disprove the viability of general purpose languages in general. It just demonstrates that C++ needs a reboot (hence: D). Heck, D is already far better as a general-purpose language than C/C++ (although it's still not quite there yet).

Those words are mine (I wish) ;)

> I'd *much* rather use a true general-purpose language (which, again, C++ is no longer an example of) than muck around with 500 different languages for every stupid little thing.
> 
> For example, have you ever tried doing web development? You can't realistically do anything nontrivial without tripping over at least handful of different, essentially domain-specific, languages: ECMAScript, (T)SQL, (X)HTML, XML, CSS, and either PHP, ASP/VBScript, ASP.NET/C#, Python or Ruby. And that's just the bare minimum for any non-trivial web site. For one thing, most of those are great examples of the fact that domain-specific languages do nothing to prevent piss-poor language design. But besides that: Conceptually, web development is one of the most trivial forms of programming out there. But the domain-specific language-soup realities of it have turned what should have been trivial into one of the programming world's biggest pains-in-the-ass. It's an absolute mess. 

That's why I'm planing to use D + Tango + Mango and blow up everything else including existing http servers. (I had also questions in my mind why the hell databases relies on SQL so much).

Cheers
November 03, 2008
Tony wrote:

> [...] I would say that languages like C++ and D ARE the specialized ("domain specific") languages rather then the "general purpose" ones. Consider them as "where/when you need high level assembly language type of tool". Everyone who invents "the better C++" ends up in the same category as that overly complex, for a GP language, language.

I also see a GP language strictly connected with processors way of "thinking" and operating  with memory but with ability of switching to higher level (on demand) to ovoid using tons of primitives. If well deigned it can utilize computer to *everything* you need - without pain-in-ass.

Or one may say:

> "General Purpose Language" may indeed be an oxymoron. (All kinds of jokes noting 'GPL', omitted).

IMHO D is a better stage of what we can call: general propose language.

>> (C++) These days it's a systems/performance language instead.
> 
> And not a very influential one at that, which really bogs down development.
> 

Until D. Give me example of a language where you can develop faster/esier (besides IDE infrastructure).

Cheers
November 04, 2008
Tony wrote:
> (one HAS to use GC with D, right?)

No. Well, the compiler generates calls to allocate & free memory, but you can replace those calls with whatever you want. See Tango's (druntime's) "stub" GC, which just reroutes compiler-generated calls to GC methods to malloc() and free(). You can implement your own "GC" or whatever management scheme you want (in fact, if you're writing, say, a device driver in D, you would want to use a custom allocator like this and not the built-in GC).
November 04, 2008
Nick Sabalausky wrote:
> For example, have you ever tried doing web development? You can't realistically do anything nontrivial without tripping over at least handful of different, essentially domain-specific, languages: ECMAScript, (T)SQL, (X)HTML, XML, CSS, and either PHP, ASP/VBScript, ASP.NET/C#, Python or Ruby. And that's just the bare minimum for any non-trivial web site. For one thing, most of those are great examples of the fact that domain-specific languages do nothing to prevent piss-poor language design. But besides that: Conceptually, web development is one of the most trivial forms of programming out there. But the domain-specific language-soup realities of it have turned what should have been trivial into one of the programming world's biggest pains-in-the-ass. It's an absolute mess. I'm currently writing my first compiler, and I have in the past written homebrew for the Atari VCS, and an Asm sound driver for a multiprocessing microcontroller/embedded-device that has no sound hardware other than a generic DAC capability. All of those have proven to be far less pains-in-the-ass than any of my web development work. Considering the conceptual simplicity of the web, that's just absolutely pathetic. 

Microsoft agrees.

http://www.informationweek.com/news/internet/webdev/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=204701262

Write your web frontend & backend in .NET. Throw in a little LINQ-to-SQL 
 and you don't even need SQL. (The official website ihas been down since September... I assume they're productizing it).
November 04, 2008
Robert Fraser:
> Write your web frontend & backend in .NET. Throw in a little LINQ-to-SQL
>   and you don't even need SQL. (The official website ihas been down
> since September... I assume they're productizing it).

Is this relevant? http://ayende.com/Blog/archive/2008/10/31/microsoft-kills-linq-to-sql.aspx

Bye,
bearophile
November 04, 2008
"Robert Fraser" <fraserofthenight@gmail.com> wrote in message news:geo5p6$12gk$1@digitalmars.com...
> Tony wrote:
>> (one HAS to use GC with D, right?)
>
> No. Well, the compiler generates calls to allocate & free memory, but you can replace those calls with whatever you want. See Tango's (druntime's) "stub" GC, which just reroutes compiler-generated calls to GC methods to malloc() and free(). You can implement your own "GC" or whatever management scheme you want (in fact, if you're writing, say, a device driver in D, you would want to use a custom allocator like this and not the built-in GC).

Plus, D allows classes to have custom allocators and deallocators which can help when using either a non-GC approach or mix-and-match.

I would like to see a less hacky way to rip out the GC, but that's a rather low priority as current way is still perfectly workable.


November 04, 2008
"Piotrek" <starpit@tlen.pl> wrote in message news:geo14c$ol9$1@digitalmars.com...
> Nick Sabalausky wrote:
>> [...]The concept of domain-specific languages is ultra-trendy these days (probably promoted by the same knuckleheads that hailed things like pure-OO, pure-functional, and Extreme Programming as silver bullets). But I consider domain-specific languages to be purely a symptom of a strong need for a better general purpose language.
>>
>
> Totally agree. At my point of view it looks excacly the same. I started with pascal then moved to c/c++ at university but I abandoned it because of its ugliness and non intuitive application development. Then I found working with PHP/JAVA much easier but I was disappointed by its fundamentals (please let me forget about PHP as a programming language). And when I was left without any hope I saw a Bright light. :D
>
> For me D takes the best of everything I have seen. Of course it isn't perfect but takes the right course and I want to be aboard.
>
>> Let's face it: programming needs and uses have expanded so much over the last decade or so that C/C++ hasn't really been a "general purpose" language for quite some time. These days it's a systems/performance language instead. True, all the attempts at retrofitting it with modern-ish features to try to keep it general-purpose have turned it into a regular frankenstein's monster of a language, but that does nothing to disprove the viability of general purpose languages in general. It just demonstrates that C++ needs a reboot (hence: D). Heck, D is already far better as a general-purpose language than C/C++ (although it's still not quite there yet).
>
> Those words are mine (I wish) ;)
>
>> I'd *much* rather use a true general-purpose language (which, again, C++ is no longer an example of) than muck around with 500 different languages for every stupid little thing.
>>
>> For example, have you ever tried doing web development? You can't realistically do anything nontrivial without tripping over at least handful of different, essentially domain-specific, languages: ECMAScript, (T)SQL, (X)HTML, XML, CSS, and either PHP, ASP/VBScript, ASP.NET/C#, Python or Ruby. And that's just the bare minimum for any non-trivial web site. For one thing, most of those are great examples of the fact that domain-specific languages do nothing to prevent piss-poor language design. But besides that: Conceptually, web development is one of the most trivial forms of programming out there. But the domain-specific language-soup realities of it have turned what should have been trivial into one of the programming world's biggest pains-in-the-ass. It's an absolute mess.
>
> That's why I'm planing to use D + Tango + Mango and blow up everything else including existing http servers.

I've found that, unfortunately, to not be quite enough. Not because of any limitations of D/Tango/Mango, but because:

#1: In the commercial world there are a lot of times when you, as the programmer, have little to no say on how the server is set up and what languages are available (for instance, I've done plenty of PHP and VBScript, but never by choice).

#2: You have basically no control over the client-side environment, so for that you're still stuck with de-facto standards like ECMAScript, and a lack of the upcoming/proposed improvements to (X)HTML (things I've thought should have been in HTML all along...*grumble*).

This is why I've recently been getting interested in high-level language translation, and have been playing around with writing such a tool. I'd like to be able to write code in a sensible language like D and just translate that into whatever horrible scripting language the sysadmin/netadmin/browser-vendor decided would be suitable.

> (I had also questions in my mind why the hell databases relies on SQL so much).
>

I agree. I'd much rather just use a sensible API (DBMS-agnostic of course). Pasting together SQL snippets is just plain ugly, and why dynamically generate code just for the DBMS to go and parse it? I mean, geez, just cut the middleman and pass the request directly. LINQ is better, but I'm still not convinced it's the right approach. TSQL stored procedures are something I'd rather, well, just write in a more "normal" language.  And then, of course, there's the bizarre "insert" vs. "update" syntax inconsistencies and general incompatibilities across vendors (ex: insert a row and retreive the auto-gen id <- which is really a rather common thing to need to do, particularly if you've got any foreign keys in the DB design, which again is rather common).

To be fair though, I have to say that without some of the advanced features we've been starting to see in languages like D, C#, Python and Ruby, using an API for any non-trivial queries could potentially get ugly.


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