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Dynamic Languages: More Than Just a Quick Fix RRS feed

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  • Enterprises are using dynamic languages such as Ruby, Python, and PHP to effect the rapid reduction of development backlogs, but developers must practice caution to ensure that the right language matches the right project, enabling IT to harness the languages' novel expressiveness to generate clean, dependable, and reusable code. Domain-specific languages (DSLs), which see broad enterprise use, are deemed to be less a part of the dynamic-language revolution than a historical basis for it, and extended logical functions such as complex program flow or decision-making features are uncommon in such products. Little languages (many of which are descended from Unix) boast highly expressive syntax and can relate sophisticated logic within a particular domain, and frequently employ a restricted vocabulary; these languages are flourishing in the commercial market arena as proprietary techniques that ISVs use to provide programmers with a means to employ, tweak, or extend their products. Enterprise usage of high-level scripting languages often takes one of two forms: As a medium to bind together the components of an application (Perl, for instance), or as a tool that provides a high level of abstraction to low-level languages (Groovy being an example). Scripting languages are most useful to the enterprise for tasks such as standard business data processing, small to midsize projects, and Web applications with low to medium traffic loads. They are not as well suited to projects requiring a high degree of scalability. General-purpose dynamic languages such as Ruby and Python are easy-to-use, open-source, domain-neutral languages offering coding mechanisms that eliminate the sluggishness or gruntwork of standard application coding. The use of dynamic languages carries the most benefits in the Web application space.
    Wednesday, April 18, 2007 7:40 AM