I have to hand it to you, you’re a pretty astute guy. Thanks for an excellent response.
I agree with you about TIOBE–it’s a rather twisted, pathological index. But I wouldn’t write off all language indices. They’re a rough metric of popularity if you look at a number of them with an eye to consistency and correlation. Statistics is the only measure available to us to answer these kinds of questions.
There’s no way to tell how popular Erlang is, but no one can deny it is widely used. Ditto for Dart and Go. (But Go has done remarkably well recently, if you believe in language rankings.)
“…the language is simple enough to attract new programmers…”
Ash: You still don't understand what you're dealing with, do you? Perfect organism. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility.
Lambert: You admire it.
Ash: I admire its purity. A survivor...unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality.
I’ve written extensively about what I think makes a good language, or a bad language. To be sure, these are my views (shared by many); they are necessarily subjective. You may disagree with them and that’s fine. That’s what makes for healthy debate.
“…not letting people forget how cool Smalltalk used to be before everyone realized that work had to actually get done, somehow.”
This is the kind of ignorance I’m fighting against all the time. Smalltalk is terrific for getting things done. It’s a very practical language that has proven itself in industry over the past three decades. It is an unbelievably productive language. It is only for the vicissitudes of history that Smalltalk failed to gain prominence today (but this is a whole other topic for another day).
BTW, my Eng Language Index is essentially derived from PYPL, another popular language ranking. Is PYPL “laughable?”