Robert D. wrote:
I know it is OT but do you share my POV that from all that old
languages the only one that is still ahead of its time is Smalltalk?
And to come back to the issue, How old is Erlang BTW (I did not find a
historical chapter in my book)?
Well, I think the Lispniks would claim that Smalltalk is a dialect of
Lisp. But seriously, Smalltalk is certainly not as “old” as Fortran,
Lisp, or C. Nor is it the first “object-oriented” language – that honor
probably belongs to Simula, a dialect of Algol.
Smalltalk represents a convergence of a number of concepts, including
“everything is an object”, model-view-controller architectures, actors,
graphical user interfaces, and many others. But I don’t think Smalltalk
was ever “ahead of its time.”
I don’t really think the concept of “ahead of its time” has any meaning
where programming languages are concerned. Programming languages are in
a very real sense living creatures – they are born, they evolve, they
cross-breed, and sometimes die.
But I can only think of a few languages that have actually died, in the
sense that they haven’t evolved into something in use today. SLIP and
the IPL family of languages, with a “target market” similar to that of
Lisp, died out. COMIT and SNOBOL, string processing languages, more or
less died out, although their successor, regular expressions, is about
as vital as anything can be.
And a fair number of Algol dialects – JOVIAL, NELIAC, Algol 68 – were
dead-end paths off the main Algol line, today represented by C/C++/C#
and Java. Just off the top of my head, I can’t think of any others that
literally disappeared from the face of the Earth.