Does it matter what language you use?

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#1 Amrykid  Icon User is offline

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Does it matter what language you use?

Posted 02 April 2010 - 04:09 PM

Does it matter what programming language you use if it has the same output? Would a program in language A be different than a program in language B if they do the same exact thing? Just wanted the opinions of DiC's finest programmers (you know who you are).

This post has been edited by Amrykid: 02 April 2010 - 04:22 PM

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Replies To: Does it matter what language you use?

#2 sbell1099  Icon User is offline

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Re: Does it matter what language you use?

Posted 02 April 2010 - 04:12 PM

looking at it from a business point of view,yes:

some languages are more time consuming
do clients have the ability to run it
is any additional modules easy to run
Will it cost more certain tools

I'm sure theres more
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#3 Raynes  Icon User is offline

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Re: Does it matter what language you use?

Posted 02 April 2010 - 04:12 PM

As I've said before, and I'll say again, if you only care about output, why use a high level language? Languages are abstractions over hardware. There is a reason people keep making new languages with better abstractions and features. They do it to try to fix the flaws they see in other languages, and make it easier and more beautiful to write code.

If a program written in two different languages produce the same output, you call them equal? How you get to that output does matter. Otherwise, we'd all be writing code in ASM and brainfuck.

EDIT: I'll point out that this is spawned from an IRC argument, wherein Amrykid furiously stated that all languages are totally equal and what you use is completely irrelevant because it's all processor instructions in the end. So, by his argument, we shouldn't even use high level languages, and all language designers over the past 50 years have been doin' it rong cuz he sez so.

This post has been edited by Raynes: 02 April 2010 - 04:16 PM

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#4 Galois  Icon User is offline

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Re: Does it matter what language you use?

Posted 02 April 2010 - 04:23 PM

View PostAmrykid, on 02 April 2010 - 03:09 PM, said:

Does it matter what programming language you use if it has the same output?

The output of the program is not the only thing that factors into the choice of the language. So, yes, the choice of the language still matters.

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Would a program in language A be different than a program in language B if they do the same exact thing?

If those programs perform the same exact operations (i.e. have the same binary representation), then no, they will not be considered to be different. Though it's usually not the case that you can produce the same binary code by using different compilers for different languages.

This post has been edited by Galois: 02 April 2010 - 04:25 PM

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#5 sbell1099  Icon User is offline

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Re: Does it matter what language you use?

Posted 02 April 2010 - 04:23 PM

View PostRaynes, on 02 April 2010 - 10:12 PM, said:

EDIT: I'll point out that this is spawned from an IRC argument, wherein Amrykid furiously stated that all languages are totally equal and what you use is completely irrelevant because it's all processor instructions in the end. So, by his argument, we shouldn't even use high level languages, and all language designers over the past 50 years have been doin' it rong cuz he sez so.

yep it did, plus just to add its different each compiler compiles different does it not?
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#6 Raynes  Icon User is offline

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Re: Does it matter what language you use?

Posted 02 April 2010 - 04:29 PM

Indeed. Two programs that do the exact same thing aren't different in theory. Of course, they're different in what they require in order to run them, but not in what they do.

Each language offers different abstracts and features. No two languages are exactly the same. Some languages are more expressive and easy to use than others. Languages evolve over time, and we owe a lot to language designers for spending their lives making code beautiful and all sorts of fun to write. To say that none of this matters, and that languages are exactly the same because "it's all processor instructions in the end" is borderline disrespectful, in my humble opinion.

Quote

<Amrykid> he agreed with me
<sbell_mac> yes but the point he made against you is true
<sbell_mac> like i said theres factors that effect it
<sbell_mac> like should i spend ages making something binary just to display a dialog or use c#
<Raynes> Amrykid: No, he didn't.
<Amrykid> but were not talking about choosing a language, were talking about if they do the same thing
<Raynes> He pointed out the obvious.
<sbell_mac> easy the latter
<Raynes> If two programs do the same thing, they do the same thing. Who's arguing that, bro?
<sbell_mac> lol
<Amrykid> Thats what i've been saying the whole time.
<Raynes> No, it isn't.
<Amrykid> so why are we arguing? bro?
<Raynes> You've been saying that languages are all equal because they all end up as processor instructions. How you get there matters. He answered your question, which was "are two things that are the same, the same?", he didn't say "It doesn't matter how you get to the output." as a matter of fact, he said the opposite right above that.

This post has been edited by Raynes: 02 April 2010 - 04:35 PM

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#7 programble  Icon User is offline

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Re: Does it matter what language you use?

Posted 02 April 2010 - 04:41 PM

It does matter because some languages are better suited for certain tasks than others. By that I mean it would be a lot easier to write a certain task in one than in the other.
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#8 baavgai  Icon User is online

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Re: Does it matter what language you use?

Posted 02 April 2010 - 04:47 PM

Can the user tell the difference between a program produced in language X versus language Y? No? Then who cares? At the level of final product, it doesn't matter what tool you use to get the job done.

It does matter to the developer. Some tools make some jobs easier. Programmer familiarity can be a big factor. The available third party APIs can dictate the language. A design document may narrow the language choices. A client environment may play a role. There are probably as many different reasons to choose a language as there are languages.
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#9 Mikhail  Icon User is offline

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Re: Does it matter what language you use?

Posted 02 April 2010 - 05:00 PM

View Postbaavgai, on 02 April 2010 - 05:47 PM, said:

Can the user tell the difference between a program produced in language X versus language Y? No? Then who cares? At the level of final product, it doesn't matter what tool you use to get the job done.

It does matter to the developer. Some tools make some jobs easier. Programmer familiarity can be a big factor. The available third party APIs can dictate the language. A design document may narrow the language choices. A client environment may play a role. There are probably as many different reasons to choose a language as there are languages.


Thank you, baavgaiwell said, because it is actually that way, As long as the client get's what they want, they won't complain, on the other hand the developer will develop using a language which will get the job done, and is said to be the most time consuming.
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#10 Raynes  Icon User is offline

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Re: Does it matter what language you use?

Posted 02 April 2010 - 05:17 PM

Well said baavgai.

This post has been edited by Raynes: 02 April 2010 - 05:18 PM

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#11 lesPaul456  Icon User is offline

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Re: Does it matter what language you use?

Posted 02 April 2010 - 05:26 PM

As already stated, the language matters to the developer. And as baavgai pointed out, the user won't be able to tell the difference. I've seen applications and games ported from on language to another with almost no discernible differences.

Certain languages are certainly better suited for different tasks. Some higher-level languages are inflexible, and don't provide access to lower-level functions that the application may need (think about all the times you use P/Invoke in C# or VB.NET). Sometimes a task that may take months in a lower-level language, like C/C++, can be completed in weeks or even days in C#. To the client, though, none of this matters.

This post has been edited by lesPaul456: 02 April 2010 - 05:27 PM

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#12 supersloth  Icon User is offline

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Re: Does it matter what language you use?

Posted 02 April 2010 - 05:41 PM

i enjoy english quite a bit. just a preference though!

it's funny when spanish speakers laugh on the internet and they go 'jajajaja', man that kills me.
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#13 Raynes  Icon User is offline

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Re: Does it matter what language you use?

Posted 02 April 2010 - 05:47 PM

An application is an application. To the person that uses it, it doesn't matter what language it's in. My argument is not about that. My argument has, and still is that how you get to the end result does matter, not whether or not a client would care.

Amrykid's argument has been largely illogical, and his examples imply that there shouldn't even be more than a single language in existence, because it doesn't matter what you use to get to the end result. I suppose that would make sense to somebody who has never written code a day in his life, or really loves brainfuck.

Some languages are better than others in the sense that they abstract certain things that make certain tasks easier and more elegant. It has nothing to do with what the output is, but how one gets to that output. They aren't all totally equal. If they were, it would be senseless for there to exist so many languages.

The entire argument is silly, because obviously it does matter, and everybody agrees that it does.

@sloth: Agreed.

This post has been edited by Raynes: 02 April 2010 - 05:49 PM

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#14 Galois  Icon User is offline

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Re: Does it matter what language you use?

Posted 02 April 2010 - 05:47 PM

View Postsupersloth, on 02 April 2010 - 04:41 PM, said:

i enjoy english quite a bit. just a preference though!

it's funny when spanish speakers laugh on the internet and they go 'jajajaja', man that kills me.


I thought those people's keyboard layouts were shifted 1 button to the left.

This post has been edited by Galois: 02 April 2010 - 05:47 PM

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#15 GenHornet18  Icon User is offline

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Re: Does it matter what language you use?

Posted 02 April 2010 - 06:13 PM

Well it doesn't matter what language you use if it results in the same exact binary duplicate. However if this argument is based on the users perception of the program then you have to take into account the overhead and simply the differences in performance. On the other hand if this argument is from a developers point of view it should be taken into account the differences in calling convention and the ability to understand the code which was used to produce the program.

If they both result in the same identical program being created the language chosen to produce it is irrelevant. If you want to throw production time into the mix (taking into account all languages which have the ability to produce a same structured program, of which there are very few) then you should take into account the experience of that programmer in each of the respective languages. Language choice should be stemmed from personal preference not from the strengths of the particular language.
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