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The Next Big Programming Language You've Never Heard Of


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The logo of the D programming language.

The D programming language is now being used, and its development supported, by Facebook.

Credit: dlang.org

The success of D, a programming language some see as the successor to C++, has surprised even its creators, Walter Bright and Andrei Alexandrescu, who have worked on the language for the last eight years.

However, D is now being used and its development supported by Facebook, where Alexandrescu works as a research scientist.

D seeks to blend the speed and power of languages like C++ and Java with the ease of use of interpreted languages like Ruby and PHP. It is not alone in this goal, which is shared by Google's Go and Apple's recently announced Swift.

Even at Facebook, where D has been used to rebuild pieces of the social network's back-end software, it faces competition from Hack, which is being used to build many of Facebook's front-end services.

However, D has momentum behind it. Facebook has hosted the two most recent D conferences and is considering using it in lieu of C++. D also is among the top 20 or 30 most popular languages in use around the world, based on the activity of users of online developer services such as GitHub and Stackoverflow.

Alexandrescu says what the language needs now is the serious financial backing of a big-name software company, using Sun Microsystems' support of Java in the 1990s as an example.

From Wired News
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