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Re: what's your motivation?

Unfortunately by itself the title of Being Popular is a
little misleading.  It's really about whether Lisp could
be more popular.  A sub-point, based on looking at other 
languages, is that good languages (C) are often adopted 
by average programmers, whereas languages designed for 
average programmers (Pascal) often lack staying power.

I think it is impossible to become very rich designing 
programming languages.  Supply and demand determines the 
value of various types of work like any other commodity.  
Designing languages is such pleasant work that people will 
do it for free.  The way to get rich is to do something 
that is too unpleasant or stressful for anyone to do it 
for free (but too hard technically for big companies).


--- Seth Gordon <sethg@ropine.com> wrote:
> 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
> it).
> 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 ==

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