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Re: Y Store /Closures

> Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 16:27:38 -0500
> From: Russ Ross <ll@russross.com>
> There's a big difference between having a language that is suitable
> for a task and having a library that is written specifically for
> that task.  Struts and other J2EE tools are written specifically for
> web application development.  That doesn't mean the features of the
> Java language are well suited to solving these problems, it means
> lots of other people have already solved most of them, usually with
> heavyweight frameworks that dictate quite a bit of your application
> structure.  Having a well thought out library made for your specific
> problem domain is almost always going to be as good or better than
> having a language that is appropriate for the domain.

I would hope that languages with advanced features would start to grow
large libraries that take advantage of these features.  This would have the
advantage that these libraries would be sufficiently lightweight that they
*wouldn't* dictate much of your application structure, which is a very good
thing, I think.  The interesting question is: is this happening, and if
not, why not?  I think some of this is happening, but not nearly as much as
I would like, and I think some of the reasons relate to java's advantages
wrt to portability, safety, familiarity etc.  Advanced features that most
people have never heard of (and find confusing when they do hear of them)
don't sell a language (unfortunately).  

One ray of hope is that with true closures in mainstream languages like
perl/python/ruby and continuations in ruby, more non-academically-inclined
programmers will be exposed to these ideas.  If a web app development
environment written in ruby uses 1/10th the code of another written in
java, and if continuations are a major reason for this, people will notice.