Is There a Future in Programming D?

Over at, Steve Anderson is wondering if D is the next big programming language.

D Programming Language LogoD took form when Walter Bright and Andrei Alexandrescu combined their efforts to develop a new language back in 2005. The result, says Anderson, offers some “very exciting” possibilities, and he notes that the ad-tech firm Sociomantic Labs, recently acquired by Tesco for $200 million, used D to build its online system. Making things more interesting is another online company’s interest in D: Facebook.

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D seeks to combine C++’s power and speed with the simplicity and rapid-programming capabilities of PHP, Python and Ruby. Its website puts it this way: “Can the power and capability of C++ be extracted, redesigned, and recast into a language that is simple, orthogonal, and practical? Can it all be put into a package that is easy for compiler writers to correctly implement, and which enables compilers to efficiently generate aggressively optimized code?”

These aren’t original goals, but the programming community is showing interest. Ten thousand people are downloading the D platform each month and there are signs of activity on Stack Overflow and GitHub. “But what D really needs is a champion,” Anderson writes, “someone who can put a lot of time and promotion behind D to make it the Java of its era.”

Facebook looks like it’s more intrigued by D than anything, and that’s not enough to turn it into Java. For now, though, D seems to be a language that’s worth checking out.

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