22 Jul 2010 ncm   » (Master)

Avery Pennarun enlarged on his previous posting I criticized as wrong in almost every detail, yet not far wrong in its conclusion. This time he does much better, but in identifying what he considers essential in a language to replace C++, he mostly identifies features of C++0xA, the new ISO C++ standard. In other words, the closest possible practical approximation to his ideal replacement for present C++ is ... C++. One howler, though, is his remark that any replacement for C must be "as fast as C". This is a common mistake among slow-language promoters, which sets a low bar; it really needs to be substantially faster than C -- as, indeed, C++ is. Another howler is that he doesn't seem to know about Algol 68 and its notion of pointers.

I've come to realize that in every sense that matters, "high level language" always really means "slow language". Once you trade off speed, there's no excuse for not being utterly superb in every other way. Every imperfection and quirk becomes absolutely indefensible. Yet, every slow language I know of is riddled with weird quirks from top to bottom.

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