There’s a really good piece on Medium about why some of the biggest technology firms are creating their own programming languages. “Google has Go, first conceived in 2009. Facebook introduced Hack last spring. And Apple unveiled Swift not long after,” explains Scott Rosenberg. “In war, as George Orwell had it, the winners write the history books. In tech, the winning companies are writing the programming languages. The Internet was built on open standards and code, but the era of social networks and the cloud is dominated by corporate giants. And they are beginning to put their unique stamps on the thought-stuff of digital technology — just as inevitably as William the Conqueror and his Normans imported tranches of early French into the nascent English tongue, in ways that still shape our legal and financial language.” The piece notes that this isn’t a new trend – “FORTRAN emerged from IBM, and COBOL was largely based on Grace Hopper’s Flow-matic, created for Remington Rand’s Univac. In the 1990s, Sun gave us Java; in the 2000s, Microsoft gave us C#” – but presents an even-handed view of what it means in the current technological context.

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