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home > news > java technology > the economics -- and politics -- of software language evolution

The Economics -- and Politics -- of Software Language Evolution

Joe Darcy has posted a very interesting blog on the similarities between his own experience as a Project Coin lead and what the leaders of the C++ standards team experienced as that language evolved. He titles his post "Project Coin: Solidarity with C++ Evolution". The use of the word "solidarity" reflects a team or band of soldiers who are under fire, perhaps significantly outnumbered, and facing attacks on multiple fronts. Indeed, if you've been following the reactions to the progress of Project Coin, in particular the reaction to the final list of JDK 7 features, it's easy to see how the Project Coin team would find justification and support in looking at what Bjarne Stroustrup and the C++ committees experienced (as stated in Bjarne's paper "Evolving a language in and for the real world: C++ 1991-2006"). Prior to reading that paper, the Project Coin team might recently have been asking themselves: "Is it us? Are we being unreasonable in some manner?" But Bjarne's experiences tell them "no, it's not you, this is just the nature of software language evolution, and community reactions to the necessities imposed by reality... you're the messenger, and they shoot you -- no matter what you do." Here's a key quote Joe cites from Bjarne's paper: As ever, there are far more proposals than the committee could handle or the language could absorb. As ever, even accepting all the good proposal...


Date: September, 08 2009
Url: http://www.java.net/blog/editor/archive/2009/09/08/economics-and-politics-software-language-evolution


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