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David Schwartz

Interesting article about dying languages

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tl;dr: It specifically mentions COBOL and Delphi as other dying languages alongside Perl, plots their decending popularity curve into the future, Delphi hits 0 a few months before Perl 😿, (COBOL years after...)

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Posted (edited)

As far as I remember these popularity curves are percentages of all programmers, so if the total number of programmers rises and the number of programmers that use <language> stays constant, the popularity curve for <language> falls.

Edited by dummzeuch
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This is the kind of article that falls in the wrong hands and I always hear: "I know more people that talk Latin than delphi programmers". "What? A new project in Delphi? Are you nuts?"
Hopefully Delphi Community edition will help re-popularize (is that even a word?) it. 
The fact is that most script base language programmed by young developers do REST calls (or something like), so as long as you GET, DELETE, POST and PUT in fancy syntax you are in a modern langue!

 

 

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Nice visualization.

Like always with such statistical data one should ask where does this come from ?
How does GitHub evaluate  "popularity" ?

Isn't "popularity" just high because you can do small tasks easily ?

Maybe such popularity index must be weighted against the complexity of projects as well.


This also gives a clue to what developers maybe really like, as its seems to be a kind of simplifications in the language itself  (JS amd Python).
Anyhow, I don't really agree on this, as typed languages has a much practical benefits.

Easy-to-learn is maybe not the only core feature of popular languages.

From my experience, the languages are more or less irrelevant, but the libraries and frameworks do.

I like all C languages, because they are "readable" for me, as C++ developer, although there are still many different features in each of them.
Aren't JS/Python not only that popular because of their fantastic libraries and frameworks out there ?
 

For me the key benefit of a language is not to support all small features like Nullable or Inline variables (nice to have, but not mission critical),
but most important for me are stable and effective frameworks (VCL/FMX), encapsulating the complexity of the real world underneath.
Regarding Delphi I would like to ask:
Why can't I use ALL the core libraries of the modern OS, like beacons, sensors, ARKit, etc. etc. at 100% yet ?
If so, there would be no need to move to Swift, JS or C#, only because I need to solve a special task, unreachable from FMX right now.

Same for VCL and WinRT, but the situation is much more relaxed there, from the history of Delphi.

Maybe I'm wrong, and there are different opinions for sure, but I would put most efford on building infrastructure and quality around libraries,
instead of trying to follow the last hype in language theory.

The "ease-of-use" is not by leaning only 20 keywords instead of 40, but to be able to use powerful libraries that encapsule all OS features
in a nicely, cross-platform way, which are easy to learn, self-explaining, consistent, powerful and error-free.

Furthermore to have powerful debugging tools as well, around this infrastructure.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Rollo62
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Every Tom, Dick and Harry can up a small "Hello World" like project in any new language to GitHub, just to test it. So whenever a groovy new language is out, people with nothing else to do will do just that, making said new language "popular".

What bugs me most is this "big company X invented this awesome and totally new language for their project Y because they couldn't have done it without it" meme. Which is just silly. First of all that new language will be just another dialect of some existing language, and secondly in what hell is that a reasonable approach to getting things done kissed and dry?

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Perhaps that big company is run by the fathers of those Tom, Dick an Harry and they trust their kids more than the experts?

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I knew my job should have been "son". But nooo, I had to go and learn something useful. :classic_ninja:

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15 minutes ago, Sherlock said:

I knew my job should have been "son". But nooo, I had to go and learn something useful. :classic_ninja:

You mean "doing something with computers" is useful?

 

If you really wanted to learn something useful, you should have learned gardening, masonry  or carpentry. 😉

Edited by dummzeuch
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Jack of all trades, master of none - seems to be my modus operandi, which is more or less the same as sucking equally at everything 😉

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Isn't there a survey that reports on the number of job ads for specific languages?

 

I'd think that would be more indicative.

 

Even more interesting would be things like what version of Java or C# is being requested.

 

Most Delphi jobs are for legacy stuff and are almost universally D2010 or earlier, so that's sort of meaningless for us.

 

But there's a HUGE amount of Java that's still Java 5 and 6, although you often don't know until you ask.

Edited by David Schwartz

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22 minutes ago, David Schwartz said:

Isn't there a survey that reports on the number of job ads for specific languages?

Most Delphi jobs are for legacy stuff and are almost universally D2010 or earlier, so that's sort of meaningless for us.

I have enabled a notification service for new job offers containing the keyword "Delphi" in Germany from a popular IT magazine. I get about one notification per week.

 

About half of them contain "Delphi" as part of the requirements also listing other programming languages like C#, JavaScript and C++, where it isn't clear what the main language - if there is one - is (it could be  maintaining legacy Delphi sources and an ongoing effort of porting to another languages, but that's not clear and since I have never atually asked I don't know).

 

The other half is mostly database centered, about half of these list a recent Delphi version (10.x) the others don't say anything about the version. But some even mention mobile development together with Delphi so at least some new development is going on with current Delphi versions.

 

I don't get notifications on other job offers but I doubt that they are as low as for Delphi for anything but maybe COBOL.

 

Of course that's only a small sample:

  • It is for Germany only
  • It is only from one source
  • In particular it does not include jobs that are offered by "word of mouth", which in the Delphi area seems to be a majority here.

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