Mission-critical business software has for many years largely been written in Cobol or RPG if it was on a mainframe, but the personal computer language market is much more fragmented. Java has fallen out of favor while Ruby has overtaken C# in long-term projections. In addition, languages such as Clojure, Scala, and others have gained popularity among "alpha geeks," although they have yet to make an impact on the market as a whole. Most of the these new languages have actually been around for several years, but only recently have they gained widespread popularity.
Ceylon language inventor Gavin King and Ruby inventor Charles Nutter say this type of language diversity is a fertile ground of ideas in which languages can share innovation with each other. "A whole lot of cross-pollination goes on, and you see some kind of convergence in the space of language features, in the sense that some things that turn out to be good ideas are rapidly [or slowly] adopted by many languages," King says.
Meanwhile, Nutter says "the day is rapidly approaching where we will see much greater collaboration between the various [Java virtual machine] languages."
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