At the Microsoft Patterns & Practices Summit in Seattle early in October, programming guru Ted Neward gave a talk on how “the next five years will be about languages.” Though Java has been in a dominant position for many years now, Neward said languages will need to evolve to adapt to new processor architectures.
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“Intel came up against a bottleneck that even they couldn’t beat,” said Neward, “the speed of light. Get used to programs running at 2 gigahertz guys, because they’re never getting faster.” Instead of increasing the clock speed, processor manufacturers can now only add more cores onto the chips. The future of programming will involve a great deal more parallel processing.
“The industry as a whole is slowly waking up out of a long sleep,” Neward said. “In 1995 if I stood up in front of a conference and said ‘object orientation is not the last thing you’ll have to learn,’ I would be run out of the room.”
Neward spoke highly of F#, a functional .NET programming language that will be featured in Microsoft Visual Studio 2010. The language is optimized for object orientation as well as highly parallel programming. This will be the first release of VS to support F#.