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Re: What is a lightweight language

Shriram Krishnamurthi <sk@cs.brown.edu> writes:
> Oliver Steele wrote:
> > - We couldn't figure out a way to make it possible to express downwards
> > not upwards continuations or otherwise make it easy to use one without
> > leading our target audience (sophisticated application developers)
> > traps.
> How does "sophisticated" bind?  Put otherwise, was this the same
> audience Arc was getting at?

I think not.  Arc is aimed at someone who can write "On Lisp".  Dylan was
aimed at someone who might pick up the language before the book.

> What Perl, Python and Co have taught is the 5%'s don't really matter.
> (Lots of them do, though.)

Perl and Python are about 10% as fast as C, and you wouldn't want to run an
Office or Emacs written entirely in them.  (Even Java desktop apps are
noticeably sluggish on my 650MHz PC.)  You're right that the 5% or even 90%
don't matter, but it did ten years ago.  What changed is that desktop and
handheld apps --- which are what Dylan was aimed at --- aren't where the
action is any more.  Server-side programming is an environment where a slow
correct version that can be incrementally replaced by faster components
written in fuddy-duddy low-level static languages makes both technical and
economic sense.