Need a new programming language

Alex Satrapa grail at
Fri Feb 8 12:13:49 EST 2002

On Friday, February 8, 2002, at 05:24 , Richard Cottrill wrote:

> .. but I was just reading the comments about
> C# made by the guy who started GNOME (Miguel something-or-other). He was
> very positive about it. I think it has more potential for 
> speed/compilation
> than Java; and it 'should' be neatly cross-platform.
> There are of course a fistful of reservations that every sane person has
> about anything developed by The Beast.

The potential for extracting greater speed out of C# only arises from 
the fact that it starts off being slow and bloated.  C# is just Java 
with some reserved words changed, and a whole swathe of Windows-specific 
classes added in to make life more interesting.

For a discussion of C# vs. Java, you may want to read

To cut to the chase, this guy's main point is:

> "Most developers, especially those with a background in C or C++, would 
> probably agree that features like operator overloading, pointers, 
> preprocessor directives, delegates and deterministic object cleanup 
> make C# more expressive than Java in a number of cases. Similarly, Java 
> developers who learn C# will be pleasantly surprised at features that 
> are missing in Java that will seem glaring in their absence once one 
> uses them in C#, such as boxing, enumerations and pass by reference. On 
> the other hand the lack of checked exceptions, inner classes, cross 
> platform portability or the fact that a class is not the smallest unit 
> of distribution of code makes the choice of C# over Java not a clearcut 
> case of choosing more language features without having to make any 
> compromises."

You may also want to read O'Rielly's take on the situation:

The features of C# that most appeal to me are:
  - No such thing as a "primitive" - everything's an object;
  - Enumerations, so class-specific values can't have class collisions 
    values from other classes;
  - foreach loops, similar to what you have in Perl;
  - allowing variable numbers of parameters of the same type using 

The features of C# that most disgust me are:
  - All exceptions are unchecked - the compiler won't warn you
    about uncaught exceptions;
  - All methods are final by default - you can't just go overriding
    a method when you need to; and
  - No enforcement of source code layout, so there's no way to
    visualise the class structure from the file system, and large
    projects will get messy very quickly;
  - Only runs on .NET platforms, which is a subset of Windows.

NB: I pronounce C# as "C hashed", since I don't see anything particular 
sharp or witty about its design.  The extra feature that C# has over 
Java don't make up for the one's it's lacking - they're just bait to 
trick people into switching to a Microsoft development platform.

I would like to see Java take on some of the features of C# - especially 
the idea of eliminating those stupid annoying primitives, and allowing 
enumerations.  More syntactic sugar for loops (eg: foreach) and method 
calls (eg: params) would be nice.

My main development platforms at the moment are:
  - Mac OS X
  - Linux
  - Solaris

As such, Java works really well for me, and C# is unusable.


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