I have a dream: A modern scripting language everywhere
Warren Young <wyml <at> etr-usa.com>
2014-12-08 22:59:53 GMT
It’s sad that we still can’t count on stronger scripting languages than POSIX shell and Awk in 2014. We
have many better languages, but none are part of POSIX, so we can’t count on having them everywhere.
Perl and Python are probably too big for The Open Group to make one of them a requirement for receiving the
right to use the Unix trademark. I don’t see another organization that could move all *ix-likes to adopt
such a language.
If the standards groups won’t do it, that leaves us with de facto standards. Red Hat and Google are trying
to push Python for this, but I don’t think either has enough power to move competing organizations on
this. And again, Python is too big to be part of a “small parts, loosely joined” OS definition.
Lua is small and liberally-licensed, but a bit too impoverished in its stock form to be an effective
improvement on the current state.
FSF failed to push Scheme/Guile into this role, for which I give thanks.
That’s part of the problem, of course: getting a bunch of fractious geeks to agree on a syntax. Awk and Ksh
got into POSIX when AT&T + Sun had the combined might to force them through the process. The *ix world is too
diffuse now for that.
say it’s the worst language on the planet are either ignorant or being hyperbolic.
time soon, either. The universality of the web has pushed a JS interpreter onto pretty much every
computing device big enough to have a keyboard, but the only hope for turning it into an effective Unix
scripting language is coming via node.js, and they’re years away from adding enough library support to
JS to make it fit for such a battle.
I think only Ruby is powerful enough, small enough, and non-controversial enough to solve this. It’s