Andrew Binstock, one of my co-judges for Application Development candidates during this year’s Codie Awards, has written a concise tech note on his issues with many popular scripting languages.
Scalability, core code performance, development tool selection and developer community vigor are the main points that Andrew urges developers to keep in mind as possible counterweights to the undeniable productivity benefits of tools such as Python, Ruby, Perl and the emerging contender Lua. I’ve previously mentioned my own similar concerns about platform coherence and modular discipline in the dynamic, weakly typed languages that dominate most scripting discussions.
Since salesforce.com considers Apex Code to be a scripting language for its own platform, it would be interesting to see how it measures up against Andrew’s criteria. The scalability of the salesforce.com platform is well demonstrated, it seems to me, and the performance statistics of that platform are continually improving. Development tools are an area we know is critical, and that we’re continually addressing, while the developer community around the Apex platform continues to grow.
Thanks to Andrew for making the spotlight brighter: the power of scripting approaches deserves the scrutiny that’s applied when a tool starts being considered for critical tasks.