Longhorn Redux IV

In the past 20 years I have had to learn about a dozen programming languages (Fortran, Algol, PL/1, Cobol, C, C++, Focus, Smalltalk, Visual Basic, Dbase, Foxpro, Java, C#, etc); about a dozen tag languages (SGML, HTML, CFML, XML, UML, XSLT, XPath, SOAP, XAML, WSDL, LZL, MXML, BPEL, XSD, etc, etc); about a dozen scripting languages (BSH, CSH, WSH, VBScript, JScript, Transact SQL, VBA, PL/SQL, Rexx, ActionScript, PowerScript, PHP, Perl, Ruby, Python, etc, etc) – and many for marginal feature and functionality gains but many times for definite vendor proprietary positioning/”gain”.

Given the richness of the predecessor languages/scripts I now look for new software that uses existing languages/scripts/tools over “yet another dialect”. Thus Macromedias Flex wins kudos (it reuses XML, CSS, JavaScript/ActionScript and Java) while Curl which introduces another C++/Java/C# variant gets skepticism.

Ditto for C# which is just a Java clone which adds very little new functionality (boxing, new operator overloads, attributes, and other low value “improvements”) – but really is Microsofts proprietary Java. In contrast, Adobes new Acrobat Designer re-uses XML, JavaScript, CSS, and PostScript/PDF in fairly novel ways.

As a developer that has been asked to jump through hoops learning every new fad language, tools and scripting language:
a)I really look for quantum step up in functionality and/or performance before I will consider learning another language/framework;
b)I give top marks to vendors who apply Occams Razor – given two solutions that arrive at the same end – take the simpler path;
c)in other words, given that computing is reaching a plateau, compatibility and interoperability now take precedent.
As Microsofts David Vaskovitch has said – there is some frontier beyond n-tier distributed processing; but not an awful lot.

So in Longhorn Redux the worlds largest ISV appears to be getting the message that KISS, compatibility and interoperability are the current kingmakers in the development world. Or are they ?