The A-Z of Programming Languages: D

Walter Bright talks about D and his desire to improve on systems programming languages.

Would you do anything differently in the development of D if you had the chance?

I'd be much quicker to turn more of the responsibility for the work over to the community. Letting go of things is hard for me and something I need to do a lot better job of.

What is the most interesting program that you've seen written with D?

Don Clugston wrote a fascinating program that was actually able to generate floating point code and then execute it. He discusses it in this presentation: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1440222849043528221&hl=en .

What sort of feedback have you received from the experimental version of D, or D 2.0, released in June 2007?

D 1.0 was pretty straightforward stuff, being features that were adapted from well-trod experience in other languages. D 2.0 has ventured into unexplored territory that doesn't have a track record in other languages. Since these capabilities are unproven, they generate some healthy scepticism. Only time will tell.

Have you ever seen the language used in a way that was not originally intended? If so, what was it? And did it or didn't it work?

There have been too many to list them all, but a couple examples are Don Clugston and Andrei Alexandrescu. They never cease to amaze me with how they use D. They often push the language beyond its limits, which turns into some powerful motivation to extend those limits and make it work. Don's presentation in the afore-mentioned video is a good example. You can see a glimpse of Andrei's work in, for example, the algorithms library at http://www.digitalmars.com/d/2.0/phobos/std_algorithm.html.

Do you still consider D to be a language "under development"?

A language that is not under development is a language that is not being used. D is under development, and will stay that way as long as people use it. C++, Java, Python, PERL, etc., are also widely used and are still under development.

Are changes still being made to the language or are you focusing on removing bugs right now?

I spend about half of my efforts fixing bugs and supporting existing releases, and the other half working on the future design of D 2.0.

Do you agree that the lack of support from many IDEs currently is a problem for the languages popularity right now?

There are many editors and IDEs that support D now: http://www.prowiki.org/wiki4d/wiki.cgi?EditorSupport

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