James Iry recently wrote a post about type systems in which he ranked type systems according to two characteristics, safety and sophistication. We had an interesting discussion about it on IRC afterwards, in which one of the things discussed was whether these were really the right axes.
It occurred to me that we spend a lot of time talking about the major axes on which you compare programming languages, and that it would be interesting to gather some data on what these actually were instead of just plucking things that seem like they may sense out of the air. So I’ve created a little app to gather data for this: Check out The Right Tool, and I’d love it if you’d rank some languages on it.
Essentially the idea is this: I have a list of statements and a list of programming languages, and I want you to rank those languages in order of how well the statements apply to them.
At the moment I’m just data gathering: I don’t actually do anything with the data. The end goal is that I’m going to have a very high dimensional representation of each programming language in terms of what people think of them and why they use them which I will do some sort of dimension reduction to, hopefully giving rise to some interesting metrics with which to compare languages.
A couple notes:
- This is not about which language is best. It’s about comparing the strengths and weaknesses of different languages
- I’m not making the data available yet, but I promise I will later once I’ve gathered enough
- The site looks like ass. I know. I’m not a web designer. Deal with it or send me a better stylesheet
- If I’ve missed any languages out, let me know. Drop me a comment or something. Similarly if you have ideas for good statements you haven’t seen on the site