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Open source programming languages

Till date, I’ve worked on programming languages which were not open source and were a property of some company (Microsoft, in my case – VB 6 and C#). However these days I’ve heard a lot that how important it is for a programming language to be open sourced. If you think deeply, you too might realize that there are a few advantages which cannot be had in a closed source language, e.g. –

1) How many languages can boast of being backward incompatible? Python 3 is one of them.

2) One could start using a newer version of the language whenever one felt comfortable. The choice of which version of the language to use, would not be tied to the use of a particular (newer) version of the IDE. Yes, I am talking of C# and Visual Studio. [ I understand MS wants to make money, and decision makers who, many times are non-techies, are never in a hurry to upgrade to the newer version of the IDE and therefore the language, forcing us poor developers to write delegates even though lambdas are available 🙂 Most people would’ve switched to a newer compiler if the older IDE could support it. ]

3) One could vote for what features to be included. Yes, the decision might still rest with some committee of core developers of the language, but one would’ve had some say. Amazingly, I don’t understand why Java 7 won’t have closures.

So choose your language (and the platform) wisely, else you might have to code in C# 2.0 in the days of C# 4.0 (i.e. keep using VS 2005 in 2010) 😉

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