Disruptive Programming Language Technologies

Todd Proebsting, Microsoft Research

For the past few decades, programming language design and implementation research has concentrated heavily in a few notable areas: type theory, functional programming, object-oriented programming, and, of course, optimization techniques. Yet most of the recent commercially successful languages (e.g., Perl, Python, Visual Basic, Java) are not particularly interesting when judged in these domains. What happened? The newly successful languages represented a "disruptive technology" that allowed it to capture programmer mindshare while everybody else was looking. In this talk, I will present what I think makes a programming language technology disruptive, and I will propose possible future disruptive programming language technologies.