Using the Wrong Tool Is Painful
By: Eric Potter
Stack Overflow recently published a blog post where they ran analytics on data they have collected. They ran calculations that showed which programming languages are the least popular with their user base.
The analysis isn't on the technical merits of each language, but rather how programmers feel about the languages. That being said the results revealed something interesting. Languages that have a specific purpose, but are used for other general-purpose programming projects are unpopular.
If you look at the four most disliked programming languages, there is a common theme. All of them were created to be good at a specific task and are powerful enough to be used for more general-purpose programming.
|Delphi||Rapid Application Development|
|VBA||Custom Functionality in Office Applications|
Perl is at its best when you are using it to manipulate text. VBA is at its best when it is used to do simple things in Office documents. Their problem is that developers have used them to create entire enterprise critical systems. Delphi is the most general-purpose language of the bunch, but it definitely has its niche in developing GUI apps that manipulate database data.
I'll admit that I've had some unpleasant experiences with VBA. But they largely stem from the fact that I was working on a system that should have been implemented with a general-purpose language. Blaming the language for these shortcomings is like blaming a tack hammer for not being a standard claw hammer.
About Eric Potter
Eric is a Microsoft MVP and Software Architect for Aptera Software in Fort Wayne Indiana, working primarily in the .Net platform. He has been developing high quality custom software solutions since 2001. He is also an adjunct professor of computer science at Indiana Tech. He loves to dabble in new and exciting technologies.