Hi, Paul,

I think perhaps I remember you from the Python mailing list a few years
back...?  

Paul Prescod wrote:
> 
...
> 
> Problem: as these languages converge it will be harder and harder for
> new programmers or managers to choose between them. "I like Python
> because in some vague way it feels more comfortable than Ruby. Or vice
> versa. Hope that helps you to choose!"
> 
> On the one hand the competition is demonstrably good for the technical
> development of the languages. On the other hand, the corporate world is
> blasted with ALL JAVA from Sun and C#/VB from Microsoft and
> Perl/Python/PHP/Ruby/Tcl/... from the open source world. I think the
> fact that we don't converge makes the open source language world look a
> little like individualistic, idiosyncratic eccentrics. If the whole open
> source world united behind one scripting language it would be a
> formidable competitor to Java. But I'm not willing to back down on my
> choice of language and I'll bet nobody else is either. :)
> 

Let's not lose sight of the fact that the entire computing field is only
about 50 years old.  Those who would argue in favor of "convergence" are
probably doing us a dis-service for a couple of reasons:

1)  Compared to other professions and disciplines, computing is still
    very much in its infancy.  Despite the fact that every generation
thinks of itself as the grand culmination of all that has come before,
we don't know enough about how to think about instructing/using our
Magical Mystery Boxen to freeze our languages and tools.  Diversity is
a tremendously valuable source of new thinking, which we desparately
need if computing is to retain the vitality and energy it has had at
other phases of its (brief) history.  (One of the best criticisms
about ADA when it was in its infancy was that we didn't understand
concurrency well enough to enforce a single syntactical/semantic
model in a mandated language at that time.  We still don't.  Without
alternatives, we stop learning.)

2)  Many of the parties (I bravely resisted the impulse to refer to
    Redmond, ... ooops! ;-) that push so hard for a single official
worldview are doing so for their own benefit, to strengthen their own
position as gatekeeper to all access to knowledge and commerce.  For
S*n to counter that threat by promoting J*v* as the single answer to
all problems is simply fighting fire with fire.  The 'Net evolved so
rapidly precisely because the standardization occurred at the level
of INTERFACES/PROTOCOLS which diverse implementations/platforms could
use as their point of contact.  That's where the battle for a free
Internet will be won or lost, not by creating a three-way fire fight
instead of a two-way one.

Of course, these are merely my own personal views, and do not reflect
the positions of my employer, family, friends, cat, living room couch,
nor myself after another cup of coffee.  ;-)

-- 
; sub REBOL {}; sub head ($) {@_[0]}
REBOL []
# despam: func [e] [replace replace/all e ":" "." "#" "@"]
; sub despam {my ($e) = @_; $e =~ tr/:#/.@/; return "\n$e"}
print head reverse despam "moc:xedef#yleen:leoj" ;