If you have worked intensively with a programming language, you will get to know its strange solutions and what bugs there are in the implementation you use. It is discovered that certain constructions in a language give rise to illogical solutions and confusion.
For the most part, you can’t do anything about it. It is simply difficult to transfer a language that is popular and guaranteed that we have jobs. There may not be a better alternative, because it is quite likely that we will use the best solutions that humanity has been able to produce.
Here, IDG News gives tips about languages we love to have, but can not live without.
The virtual Java machine and class libraries may come from the 90s, but the syntax comes from the 70s when C was created. Automatic memory management acts as a big step forward, until your code decides to pause when the memory is cleared. Java developers have long complained about many things and Oracle has fixed some of them. But the solutions cause a new problem, which may be part of a code that does not work with older virtual Java machines.
None of this matters. Java is not only the basis of the web and many mobiles, it is also the first language taught in many schools. The breadth of libraries is greater than for virtually all other languages. Why use another language?
There is a lot to think about in a language that should perhaps be called “portable assembler”. For example, is there anyone who likes to write separate header files? Can I use pointer arithmetic to build super smart solutions, but how many can take advantage of the possibilities? Those who have tried often find that the code breaks down. And is there anyone who will abide by all the rules to avoid security holes in C code?
But we have no choice, because C can be used for critical solutions in mobiles, for drivers and embedded systems, and so on.
PHP is not really a programming language, but more a tool to make static html a little smarter. It is possible to handle information in databases and a few other things, but it is mostly used for string handling. It is not worth complaining about childish syntax, as it mostly contains content on the web delivered with PHP, on platforms such as WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. And then there is a service called Facebook that builds with PHP.
We should be grateful to Facebook for building the Hiphop Virtual Machine and inspiring us to create PHP 7.0. But the new PHP solutions are twice as fast that we will have to write PHP code for a long time to come.
Python is a modern language that young people like. The code looks clean. Any problems? Well, the jump from Python 2.7 to 3.0, for example. It is necessary to develop the language, but we will have to check which version of Python is used for the rest of our lives. And who likes to count how many spaces are used to contain code?
But it does not matter, because people with scientific ambitions love Python, such as biologist. Some want to use Python to describe stock prospects and it is at least easier to understand Python than legal language.
Cobol appeared in 1959, well before most of us were born. With its complex syntax based on hundreds of reserved words, it should have played its role. Still, Cobola lovers continue to create new versions, by borrowing ideas from other languages that they quickly glue on a creation that is almost 60 years old. Did you know that there is something called Cobol 2014 with something called dynamic tables that people have been trying to get into the language since 2002?
There are guaranteed to be better tools for writing business logic and manipulating databases, but it’s easier to buy a larger mainframe and to run old Cobol code. There are any number of vacant Cobol jobs and even if modern computer scientists shudder at the mere thought of Cobol, the language will remain as long as there are companies that can use it.
Everyone loves XSLT to begin with. It is a functional language for handling xml data. It is a smart solution that works well when you need to get hold of parts of large xml documents. But if you are asked to do something more complex with XSLT than searching for and replacing data, it will be difficult. Consider this description from XSLT expert Bob DuCharme: “XSLT variables actually have more in common with constants in many other languages and the like for similar purposes.” If you want to use a variable we can change XSLT so you have to be very smart.
Xml loses ground to more efficient data formats such as Json, but it may be particularly appropriate to use large applications. You do not need to use XSLT, you can write your own code to handle xml data. But it’s even harder.