Microsoft Cloud Authors: Jim Kaskade, Lori MacVittie, Andreas Grabner, Janakiram MSV, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Linux Containers, Agile Computing, Government Cloud

@CloudExpo: Article

Twelve New Programming Languages: Is Cloud Responsible?

It most certainly is. But that is not the whole story – there is more to it.

Do we need programming languages?

You may think that the answer is no. But, if you go by the recent trend you may need to change your mind.

Consider for example the following questions:

  • Why is Google working two (GO, DART) new programming languages?
  • Why has IBM (X10), Cray (Chapel) and Red Hat (Ceylon) working on creating a new programming language of its own?

Are new programming languages getting created just to satisfy the creative urge of somebody or has the technology evolution created the need for new way of programming and hence these new languages?

If you look back...

There are 3 periods in history when there was a burst of new programming languages. Each of these periods is linked to a critical point in technology evolution.

Period Driver Languages
1957-64 Invention of compiler and the era of 3GL (1) Fortran, (2) Algol, (3) Lisp, (4) Cobol, (5) RPG, (6) APL, (7) Simula, (8) Basic and (9) PL/1
1978-84 Invention of RDBMS and the era of the 4GL (1) SQL, (2) dBase, (3) C++, (4) Oracle Forms and PL/SQL, (5) Informix 4GL, (6) Gupta SQL, (7) Unify Accell and (8) Ingress
1990-95 O-O & Multi-tier programming and the era of WWW (1) HTML, (2) Haskel, (3) Python, (4) Power Script (Power Builder), (5) Visual Basic, (6) Lua, (7) Ruby, (8) Object Pascal (Delphi), (9) Java, (10) Java Script and (11) PHP

Other important languages which was created outside these time period are: (1) Pascal – 1970, (2) C – 1972, (3) Prolog – 1972, (4) Smalltalk – 1972, (5) Erlang – 1986, (6) Perl – 1987 and (7) C# – 2001. As you can see, they are very few.

Are we entering another period which on hindsight will be classified as another period of technology transition? Only time can tell.

Does cloud computing got anything to do with it?

It most certainly does. But that is not the whole story – there is more to it.

What could the Technology Drivers be?

If you analyze the primary motivation behind these languages, you will see several common themes emerging.

(1) Distributed/Parallel computing:

Programmability of parallel computers (Chapel from Cray, X10 from IBM), Concurrent programming (Clojure, Fantom, Go) and single language for complete cloud stack (Opa)

Cloud computing is all about distributing your process across multiple CPU and running them in parallel or concurrently. Current programming languages are not very well suited for that.

Hence this attempt to create languages tailored for parallel processing.

(2) Multi-paradigm programming:

Languages which support object oriented programming as well as functional programming (Clojure, F#, Fantom, Scala)

Functional programs are relatively easy to parallelize. However, pure functional languages have not been very successful.

Hence this attempt to create multi-paradigm programming language.

(3) Multi-platform programming:

Languages that has implementation for both JVM and CLR (Clojure, Fantom, Scala) and several other platforms (Clojure & Fantom on JavaScript engine, Scala on Android, Haxe on several platforms)

Well this is a dream which we have been chasing for decades. Will it ever be a reality? We never know.

Hence this attempt to create multi-platform language!

(4) Programming at Scale:

Readability, Modularity (Ceylon), Speed of compilation (Go, Zimbu), Suitable for large team (Scala), Meta-programmability and extensibility (Ceylon, Scala), Concise (Scala, Zimbu)

Cloud provides almost unlimited computing power which encourages us to build larger and more complex application. Building such application will require large teams and the code has to be easily maintainable.

Also, the focus on frequent integration requires the process of compilation to be speeded up.

Hence this attempt to create programming language for large application.

(5) Client side programming:

Replacement for JavaScript (Dart), same language for both client and server side (Naxe, Opa, Zimbu)

Cloud computing requires client side code to seamlessly run on multiple client devices. Though JavaScript has become a standard, nobody really likes it!

Hence this attempt to create languages which is better than JavaScript and which can run on multiple client platforms.

Quick overview of the 12 new languages mentioned earlier

Here are the 12 languages listed in an alphabetical order. (I am not including HTML5 in this list as it is strictly not a new language and I have excluded Node.js as it is only a server side JavaScript engine)

Language Who is behind it? Primary Driver Licensing
Red Hat - Home page Readability, Predictability, Tool-ability, Modularity, Meta-programmability.Runs on JVM GPL v2
Cray - Home page Programmability of parallel computersRun on Cray supercomputers and various high-performance clusters.Portable to most Unix-style systems, Mac OS X and Windows BSD
Rich HickeyHome page Concurrency using Functional programming paradigm.Runs on JVM, CLR, and JavaScript engines EPL
Google - Home page A replacement for JavaScript on the browserFaster, easier to maintain, and less susceptible to subtle bugs.Dart VM needs to be compiled – can run on Linux, Mac and Windows New BSD
Microsoft - Home page

Multi-paradigm: Functional + Imperative + Object-oriented.Runs on CLR and Mono

10 Reasons Why It`s a Hot Programming Language for Developers

Brian Frank, Andy Frank - Home page Portability, support for functional programming and concurrency.Runs on JVM and CLR. Is also compiles to javaScript. Future targets might include Objective-C for the iPhone Academic Free License
Google - Home page Compiled with the ease of programming of a dynamic language, concurrency and communication, speed of compilation.Compiler available for Linux, Mac OS X, Windows BSD style + patent grant
Nicolas Cannasse - Home page Multi-platform support.Compiler for JavaScript, Flash, NekoVM, PHP, C++. C# and Java support is expected GPL v2
MLstateHome page Targeted for cloud computing. Client-side UI, server-side logic, and database I/O are all implemented in a single languageRuntime environment own Web server and DBMS.Runs on 64bit Linux and Mac AGPL
EPFLHome page

Scalability for multicore and distributed computing. For large team. Multi-paradigm: Functional and O-O. Extensible.Runs on JVM, Android, CLR

10 Reasons Developers Need to Check It Out

IBM - Home page Designed specifically for parallel programming, performance and scale.Runs on IBM AIX, Linux, Mac OS X, Windows EPL
Bram MoolenaarHome page Aims to be fast, concise, portable, and easy-to-read and support  GUI application to an OS kernel.Compiles to ANSI C Apache v2


What is most interesting is that all the 12 languages are available under some form of open source license.

Interesting articles on history of programming languages:

Statistics on Language usage

More Stories By Udayan Banerjee

Udayan Banerjee is CTO at NIIT Technologies Ltd, an IT industry veteran with more than 30 years' experience. He blogs at http://setandbma.wordpress.com.
The blog focuses on emerging technologies like cloud computing, mobile computing, social media aka web 2.0 etc. It also contains stuff about agile methodology and trends in architecture. It is a world view seen through the lens of a software service provider based out of Bangalore and serving clients across the world. The focus is mostly on...

  • Keep the hype out and project a realistic picture
  • Uncover trends not very apparent
  • Draw conclusion from real life experience
  • Point out fallacy & discrepancy when I see them
  • Talk about trends which I find interesting

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

Most Recent Comments
JayaramKrishnaswamy 05/09/12 11:40:00 PM EDT

Nice review.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftNet Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SoftNet Solutions specializes in Enterprise Solutions for Hadoop and Big Data. It offers customers the most open, robust, and value-conscious portfolio of solutions, services, and tools for the shortest route to success with Big Data. The unique differentiator is the ability to architect and...
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, will be adding the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining senso...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential M2M Brand by Onalytica in the ‘Machine to Machine: Top 100 Influencers and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed the online debate on M2M by looking at over 85,000 tweets to provide the most influential individuals and brands that drive the discussion. According to Onalytica the "analysis showed a very engaged community with a lot of interactive tweets. The M2M discussion seems to be more fragmented and driven by some of the major brands present in the...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
In the next five to ten years, millions, if not billions of things will become smarter. This smartness goes beyond connected things in our homes like the fridge, thermostat and fancy lighting, and into heavily regulated industries including aerospace, pharmaceutical/medical devices and energy. “Smartness” will embed itself within individual products that are part of our daily lives. We will engage with smart products - learning from them, informing them, and communicating with them. Smart produc...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, will discuss the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docke...
As ridesharing competitors and enhanced services increase, notable changes are occurring in the transportation model. Despite the cost-effective means and flexibility of ridesharing, both drivers and users will need to be aware of the connected environment and how it will impact the ridesharing experience. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Timothy Evavold, Executive Director Automotive at Covisint, will discuss key challenges and solutions to powering a ride sharing and/or multimodal model in the a...
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Embotics, the cloud automation company, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Embotics is the cloud automation company for IT organizations and service providers that need to improve provisioning or enable self-service capabilities. With a relentless focus on delivering a premier user experience and unmatched customer support, Embotics is the fas...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Coalfire will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Coalfire is the trusted leader in cybersecurity risk management and compliance services. Coalfire integrates advisory and technical assessments and recommendations to the corporate directors, executives, boards, and IT organizations for global brands and organizations in the technology, cloud, health...
The IoT industry is now at a crossroads, between the fast-paced innovation of technologies and the pending mass adoption by global enterprises. The complexity of combining rapidly evolving technologies and the need to establish practices for market acceleration pose a strong challenge to global enterprises as well as IoT vendors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Clark Smith, senior product manager for Numerex, will discuss how Numerex, as an experienced, established IoT provider, has embraced a ...
Cloud based infrastructure deployment is becoming more and more appealing to customers, from Fortune 500 companies to SMEs due to its pay-as-you-go model. Enterprise storage vendors are able to reach out to these customers by integrating in cloud based deployments; this needs adaptability and interoperability of the products confirming to cloud standards such as OpenStack, CloudStack, or Azure. As compared to off the shelf commodity storage, enterprise storages by its reliability, high-availabil...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MathFreeOn will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MathFreeOn is Software as a Service (SaaS) used in Engineering and Math education. Write scripts and solve math problems online. MathFreeOn provides online courses for beginners or amateurs who have difficulties in writing scripts. In accordance with various mathematical topics, there are more tha...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential Internet of Things Brand by Onalytica in the ‘The Internet of Things Landscape 2015: Top 100 Individuals and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed Twitter conversations around the #IoT debate to uncover the most influential brands and individuals driving the conversation. Onalytica captured data from 56,224 users. The PageRank based methodology they use to extract influencers on a particular topic (tweets mentioning #InternetofThings or #IoT in this ...
Complete Internet of Things (IoT) embedded device security is not just about the device but involves the entire product’s identity, data and control integrity, and services traversing the cloud. A device can no longer be looked at as an island; it is a part of a system. In fact, given the cross-domain interactions enabled by IoT it could be a part of many systems. Also, depending on where the device is deployed, for example, in the office building versus a factory floor or oil field, security ha...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Transparent Cloud Computing (T-Cloud) Consortium will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The Transparent Cloud Computing Consortium (T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data proces...
Donna Yasay, President of HomeGrid Forum, today discussed with a panel of technology peers how certification programs are at the forefront of interoperability, and the answer for vendors looking to keep up with today's growing industry for smart home innovation. "To ensure multi-vendor interoperability, accredited industry certification programs should be used for every product to provide credibility and quality assurance for retail and carrier based customers looking to add ever increasing num...
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and ...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to impr...