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what's your motivation?

When reading the back-and-forth in the "Language Marketing"/"What
design is" threads, I feel like Paul and Christopher et al. are
talking past one another.

There are all sorts of reasons why someone might want to design a
language.  In particular, one could hope to become *very famous*
(renowned throughout hackerdom as the creator of the powerful Foo
programming language) or one could hope to become *very rich* (raking
in the profits from a programming tool that is so powerful, at least
in a certain domain, that people are willing to cough up big money for

Paul's advice on language design is titled "Being Popular", and if you
want your new language to be popular, his advice is probably very
good.  (After I design a language and it becomes popular, I can write
with more authority on how valid his advice is.  :-) I'm not so sure
of how useful his advice is for people who want to *make money* off a
new language -- e.g., the folks running Curl.

As a hacker, I can accept Paul's argument that a language that is
popular with hackers will eventually become popular with everyone
else.  But if I'm trying to present a language as a business
proposition to investors, I need to convince them that the language
will accumulate not merely fans, but *customers*, and that those
customers will sign on *soon*.  It makes good business sense to
sacrifice some of a commercial language's hacker-appeal in favor of
features that will create more customers, win those customers sooner,
or appeal to customers with deeper pockets.

C is a smash hit, and its designers are celebrities.  But how much
*money* has AT&T (and then Lucent) made from it?  It's not like
everyone who sells a C compiler has to pay Lucent a royalty.

"Most organizations that are used to failure are unable to tolerate success."
  --Scott Ambler
== Seth Gordon == sethg@ropine.com == http://ropine.com/ == std. disclaimer ==