The A-Z of Programming Languages: D

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

How do you react to criticism such as the comment below, taken from Wikipedia? "The standard library in D is called Phobos. Some members of the D community think Phobos is too simplistic and that it has numerous quirks and other issues, and a replacement of the library called Tango was written. However, Tango and Phobos are at the moment incompatible due to different run-time libraries (the garbage collector, threading support, etc). The existence of two libraries, both widely in use, could lead to significant problems where some packages use Phobos and others use Tango."

It's a valid criticism. We're working with the Tango team to erase the compatibility issues between them, so that a user can mix and match what they need from both libraries.

In your opinion, what lasting legacy has D brought to computer development?

D demonstrates that it is possible to build a powerful programming language that is both easy to use and generates fast code. I expect we'll see a lot of D's pioneering features and feature combinations appearing in other languages.

Where do you envisage D's future lying?

D will be the first choice of languages for systems and applications work that require high performance along with high programmer productivity.

Where do you see computer programming languages heading in the future, particularly in the next 5 to 20 years?

The revolution coming is large numbers of cores available in the CPUs. That means programming languages will have to adapt to make it much easier to take advantage of those cores. Andrei's presentation gives a taste of what's to come.

Do you have any advice for up-and-coming programmers?

Ignore all the people who tell you it can't be done. Telling you it can't be done means you're on the right track.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Yes. D isn't just my effort. An incredible community has grown up around it and contribute daily to it. Three books are out on D now and more are on the way. The community has created and released powerful libraries, debuggers, and IDEs for D. Another D compiler has been created to work with gcc, called gdc, and a third is being developed for use with LLVM. Proposals for new language features appear almost daily. D has an embarrassment of riches in the people contributing to it.

Oh, and I'm having a great time.

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