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Programming Languages and Taco Bell: Same Features, New Combinations.

by Eric Potter
on July 23, 2014

We are in the midst of a programming language renaissance. We are seeing new languages on a regular basis. These languages promise to make the lives of programmers better by making them more productive. Most notably, Apple just released Swift as the new language of choice for iOS development. Other major companies have release languages in the last few years. Microsoft released TypeScript. Google released Go and Dart. Facebook released Hack. Mozilla released Rust. There have also been a handful of exciting languages released without corporate backing, such as Elixir.

Additionally, many of the most popular languages have added features in the last few years. C# added async and await. Java and C++ added lambdas. Python added annotations.

pdp quesarito

It's Brand New! Or is it?

With all these additions to the programming language landscape, the thing that is lacking is a genuinely new feature. These languages and features are new in the sense that Taco Bell's Quesarito is new. It is just a new combination of ingredients that were already on hand. In the same way that the Double Decker Taco wraps a hard shell taco in refried beans and a tortilla, TypeScript wraps JavaScript with classes and types.

pdp double decker taco

A good thing wrapped in a good thing.

Most of the newness of these languages is bringing existing programming language constructs to a new environment. Typescript brings strong typing and classes to the browser. Swift brings some functional programming concepts to iOS development. Swift is like the crunch wrap supreme of languages. It is comprised of ingredients you love, but packaged for portability and mobility.

pdp crunchwrap supreme

Like Swift, it's good to go.

But I would like to see some genuine innovation in a programming language. I'm not the guy to come up with it, but I would love to see it. Don't get me wrong. I am not saying that any of these new languages are bad. I am actually quite interested in several of them. In the same way that I think the Quesarito is delicious, I think many of these new languages will be great to work in.

Am I wrong? Is there a major new feature that I have missed? Let me know in the comments below.

(The photos of Taco Bell food in this post are from Taco Bell, and do not imply an endorsement on their part. Although most of us at Aptera, given the chance, will endorse Taco Bell.)

 

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Author
Eric Potter
Eric is a Microsoft MVP and Software Architect for Aptera Software in Fort Wayne Indiana, working primarily in the .Net platform. He has been developing high quality custom software solutions since 2001. He is also an adjunct professor of computer science at Indiana Tech. He loves to dabble in new and exciting technologies.
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