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The Dish on Dynamic Languages

The busy folks at Forrester Research have released another report, this time breaking down the growing segment of dynamic languages. The third quarter Forrester Wave report looked at five dynamic languages: ECMAScript (JavaScript), Perl, PHP, Python and Ruby.

Forrester describes dynamic languages as being flexible, easy to learn and well-suited for Web 2.0 development by enabling integration and application assembly. The report also notes that these languages can reduce cycle times by allowing developers to focus on crafting business logic by leveraging mature frameworks and libraries.

Not all dynamic languages are created equal. According to Forrester, the Python language graded out slightly ahead of the others. "Python emerged as a leader because of its rich features and the fact that developers use it for a wide variety of application types," the report states. The authors, Michael Goulde and Jeffrey Hammond, went on to praise Python's clean syntax, consistent style structure and extensibility.

Ironically, Python is the only dynamic language that seems to be losing traction among programmers, according to the TIOBE Programming Community Index list. Python dropped to eighth overall in August, from seventh a year ago. PHP and Perl held steady in the middle of the top 10, just behind C++ and ahead of C#. While ECMAScript (shown as JavaScript on the list) moved up to ninth place, Ruby jumped from 13th to 10th.

You can read the excerpt of the Forrester Research summary here.

Are you making use of one or more dynamic languages in your shop? Tell us your thoughts about these popular solutions and the challenges you face. What would you like to see done to improve Ruby, Python, PHP, Perl and ECMAScript? My e-mail, as ever, is [email protected].

Posted by Michael Desmond on 08/22/2007 at 1:15 PM

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