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RE: What design is: 911 vs. Fleetwood
> I know business decisions tend to be made by the pointy-haired
> boss, rather than hackers. What I'm saying is that in this
> case (e.g. by not liking the language enough to write free
> compilers for it) they forced the pointy-haired bosses' hands.
To some degree. But then how do you explain VB?
> It's surprising with the example of C in front of us that there
> is even any debate about this issue. Brilliant hackers at
> Bell Labs create language for their own use, write Unix in
> it, Unix takes over world, everyone (good hackers and bad)
> learns C, pointy-haired boss decides C is a good choice for
> implementing projects. The hackers have made the decision
> for him years before.
Having been involved in selling management on C, I have to disagree with
this. I think that the big selling point of C was portability, not
necessarily that "hackers" liked it. Prior to C, most development shops
were using vendor-specific dialects of various languages. OS-vendors
encouraged this (as MS continues to this day) because it created a barrier
for their customers to switch to other OS vendors. In our case, I was able
to get our company to adopt C, because I convinced them that it would free
us from the non-portable dialects of COBOL, Basic and VAX assembly language
that were preventing us from taking advantage of the new cheap unix
platforms. Eventually, the adoption of C and later C++ became widespread
enough that its prevalence in the labor pool began to make it a good
I do agree that in a short labor market, such as in the 90's, that developer
preferences and experience does play a role in management's choice of a
language, but unfortunately I don't believe that management cares all that
much about what the "best hackers" think, even today.