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October 14, 2011

Programming for the Cloud

Tiffany Trader

Will the cloud change programming? That is the subject of a recent article of the same name at CNET News that delves into the very pertinent subject matter of programming for the cloud.

cloud with rainbowAuthor Gordon Haff makes an interesting point about the computer programming language landscape, which is that despite there being hundreds, if not thousands, of choices, the pool of widely-used languages is much smaller. COBOL, Fortran, C – how do these old standards apply to the new infrastructure paradigm that is cloud computing?

Haff argues that the landscape is responding fairly well to the needs of cloud, as seen with some scripting languages, including JavaScript as well as Perl, Python, PHP, Ruby, among others. An alternative to JavaScript, called Dart, was introduced by Google earlier this week. The more successful ones lend themselves to being able to write code quickly and lack some of the stringent requirements of more traditional languages.

Haff is hopeful that public platform-as-a-service clouds will open up new possibilities for the Web programming landscape. But since application programming interface (API) is often limited to a single provider, porting is still an issue. Some providers offer APIs that are specific to a hosted environment, but ideally there will be a solution that includes application portability across on-premise and hosted solutions, notes Haff.

Full story at CNET News