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One-Time Niche Programming Languages on the Rise


Seven increasingly popular niche programming languages offer features that cannot be found in the dominant languages. For example, Python has gained popularity in scientific labs. "Scientists often need to improvise when trying to interpret results, so they are drawn to dynamic languages which allow them to work very quickly and see results almost immediately," says Python's creator Guido von Rossum. Many Wall Street firms also rely on Python because they like to hire university scientists to work on complex financial analysis problems.

Meanwhile, Ruby is becoming popular for prototyping. Ruby sites are devoted to cataloging data that can be stored in tables. MatLab was originally designed for mathematicians to solve systems of linear equations, but it also has found a following in the enterprise because of the large volumes of data that organizations need to analyze.

Although JavaScript is not a new programming language, new applications for JavaScript are constantly in development. For example, CouchDB uses JavaScript's Map and Reduce functions to help bring harmony to both client and server-side programming.

Other popular niche languages include R, which also is known as S and S-Plus, Erlang, Cobol, and CUDA.

From InfoWorld
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