Would You Like Your Programming Language to Have a Million Users?

Would you like your new programming language to have a million users in a couple of years? You would? Cool—here's how to do it. Instead of asking yourself, "How will people write loops?" or, "Is this statically or dynamically typed?", ask yourself, "What can I do in the language to make packaging and installation a zillion times easier?" Because that's the biggest headache most people have these days: getting a thousand and one bits of code to install on their machine and play nicely once they're there.

This is why I find Julia uninteresting, and why I think we'd be further ahead if the effort that was put into Python 3 had been put into rationalizing the standard library and sorting out P&I. I don't know a single person who switched to Python because of the improvements in 3.*, but I know a lot who would trade their eyeteeth for a P&I system that just plain worked. Similarly, I don't see a single feature in Julia that's expressly designed to make P&I easier, which means I don't see any reason to get excited about it. I'd be interested in pointers to languages and systems that do a significantly better job...

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