JavaScript still going strong

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The trend of the last years continues... JavaScript is entering more and more fields.

When JavaScript was born it was unclear if the language gets some adaption. After all webpages have been mainly developed for providing static information and computers had already trouble parsing and displaying mid-sized webpages with design. Not to mention complete user-interfaces and rich interactions.

In the recent years JavaScript got more attention. The language was refined and lost some edges, and it became clear that in its core we have a quite useful tool. Interesting developments like V8 spawned new innovations like node, which brought JavaScript in its pure form to other devices and platforms.

These days we are on the edge of ECMAScript 6, which will bring many new very useful features. The language will be more complete and more open to newcomers. The prototype pattern will still be central, however, nice, e.g., class-like constructs will make it easier for people coming from a strong Java / C# / C++ background to enter JS development. The rise of IoT, RESTful web services and SoC gives JS another boost. It is therefore not very surprising that JavaScript was the big winner of last year's programming language race.

Nevertheless we should also mention some other things. First it is definitely good that many new languages are coming out these days. Of course there are probably too many and some will (and can) never be popular, however, in the end new innovative concepts and tools for solving very special problems will survive and emerge into existing or new languages. Second it is much more obvious that even standard programmers need to learn other languages from time to time. This flexibility will pay off later, when one's favorite language is no longer the tool of choice.

So what do we have to expect from programming languages in 2015? In my opinion the trend will continue and we will see many new (interesting) languages come out. We will also see some newcomers to gain popularity. One of my favorites is Julia. It perfectly fits to some of the requirements for a great language these days. What about functional languages? I am glad that we see innovation going on here, but I think that a pure functional language can never be as good as a language that is functional in its core, but also incorporates other paradigms for flexibility.

That being said I have to draw a conclusion that also mentions C# and C++ (my other two favorite programming languages): C# is becoming more useful each day, which is mostly driven by open-sourcing .NET and by Xamarin's efforts to use C# as the primary language for doing x-plat development. I like that direction. C++ on the other side feels great these days. In a world that requires fast, low-energy consuming programs, having a language that cares about speed, but does not neglect productivity is a great thing. However, the trend is easy to predict: More special languages will partially take the jobs of these languages. Therefore I foresee further reductions in their TIOBE ratings. But that does not say much about the usefulness and importance of these languages.

All in all we should all be thankful about current evolutions in the programming language sector. The benefits of this development will be tremendous.

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