Subject: Re: torvalds
From: "Jonathan S. Shapiro" <shap@eros-os.org>
Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2001 15:34:13 -0400

> - Common Lisp
> - Eiffel
> - Emacs Lisp
> - Haskell
> - Java
> - Objective Caml
> - Perl
> - Python
> - Ruby
> - Scheme
> - Smalltalk
> - TCL
> - Visual Basic

I'm an advocate of safe languages, but it is striking that for every
language on this list, either (a) there is no static typing, or (b) there is
no widely-available implementation. Problem (a) makes the language unsuited
for large production systems, while (b) makes it too risky to implement
large production systems in a given language.

Java had a great deal of promise as a replacement for C until Sun decided
that (a) it was going to cost me ten thousand of dollars to run the Java
test suite, and (b) I couldn't call it Java unless I ran the test suite. We
will almost certainly be unable to run Java on EROS for this reason.
Realistically, no non-sun Java is acceptable because too much code follows
the latest Sun version.

There is a lesson here: languages that rely heavily on a feature-rich
runtime environment either need to be fully open or they are not portable in
practice.


Jonathan