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The Week in Web Languages

This was a hot week for web-language news.

Generators (yield and next statements) were implemented in FireFox's JavaScript a few days ago, in what looks like about two weeks of work by one guy. Cheers to Brendan Eich.

Tim Bray posted a round-up of arguments for and against PHP (mostly against). I was interested to read the Zend CEO's claim that half the websites of the world are powered by PHP. I'm disappointed that the Netcraft survey doesn't seem to be tracking that data.

Speaking as a language designer and as someone who briefly coded PHP for money, I'm pretty convinced that PHP is a bad language design. Yet, it's not entirely clear that language design matters.

Joe Armstong, the Erlang doyen, announced Jaws, a web framework for Erlang this week. It has some of the features of Links, such as easy calls from client to server. One difference I note right away is that finding a server method from the client is, in Jaws, a matter of tacking on the right string to a URL. Links treats the method definition, as a name binding, and calls from client to server have to be to bound names. Not that mis-typing the function name is a great source of error amongst web programmers!

Finally, a bit off-topic, Greg Linden of Findory writes about Blogger losing data and asking its users to cut-and-paste their entries from the web into their posting interface. The irony is astounding, of course. Greg thinks the problem is lax data-management at Google. They might be lax, but this tells me that they don't care much about the Blogger product. It's free, after all.

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