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Here's the start of a discussion about how to promote a more general awareness of J.

from	Dan Bron <j [at] bron.us>
to	devon@acm.org, etc.
date	Wed, Sep 3, 2008 at 1:33 AM
subject	RE: NYCJUG meeting in a week: 18:30 9/9 at BEST in Hoboken - agenda items?
Evangelizing J on the web, through code competition/comparison sites like the RosettaCode (which I've been getting into recently), MathsChallenge, and the Computer Shootout?

Showing up someone else's favorite language is a pretty good way to get him to join the Forums (if only to curse us), and, hopefully, the community.  Plus people who are interested in computer languages in general and unusual ones in particular are a good target audience.



from	John Randall <randall [at] andromeda.rutgers.edu>
to	devon@acm.org
date	Thu, Sep 4, 2008 at 11:42 AM
subject	Re: Proposal for workshop on interactive graphics
Dear Devon:
I liked the suggestions from Dan and Pepe about evangelization.  I would put in my perennial two cents:

* Is J a language or an application?

* Is there a killer application or niche?


- Computers were designed for scientific computing.  FORTRAN was (and is) the premier language for this.

- Lisp provided a way to program artificial intelligence problems.  The fact that AI has not got very far is probably not Lisp's fault.

- COBOL, while much derided, at least provided a database.

- C was used to implement Unix, giving it great credibility.

- When the world was held together with awk, sed and grep, Perl provided a less ad hoc system.  Python has usurped some of the scripting uses of Perl.

- Java lucked out as a leading client-side scripting language in the early days of the WWW, rather than being relegated to phones and networked toasters.


- Languages designed for instruction always fail unless they are repurposed.  BASIC was a curiosity until it was realized you could run it in 16K (as in the early microcomputers).  Pascal got a new lease of life as Delphi when it was hooked up with real things like databases.  I have a shelf full of books describing instructional languages that did not make it that far.

What can J do?

I think the programming contests can generate some interest, but it would be better if we can point to an application or computing niche where J is the leader, as well as come up with a succinct description of what J does.

Best wishes,


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