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Older programming languages can have a place in modern IT. Not every language has to be spanking brand new. Here are a few notable examples.

Clojure, The Modern Lisp

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Created specifically for the JVM, Clojure incorporates the best of Lisp with some unique innovations, including exceptional support for concurrent programming.

Elixir, The Modern Erlang

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Elixir is a syntactically improved language to replace Erlang. Elixir is exceptional for concurrent programming.

Factor, The Modern Forth

Factor is a powerful evolution of the Forth language. It’s dynamically typed and garbage collected. It is highly reflective. It has an object system.

Fortran 2018, The Modern Fortran

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Fortran is being bypassed by many scientific organizations in favour of C++ and Python, and even Julia. It struggles for relevancy, even though it’s still a fine language, especially for supercomputing.

Free Basic, The Modern Basic

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Now that Visual Basic is essentially dead, Free Basic takes over as the best Basic in the world.

Free Pascal, The Modern Pascal

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Free Pascal is much like Delphi/Object Pascal, except that it’s free. With the Lazarus IDE, you can be enormously productive with Free Pascal. According to Namcook Analytics, it’s almost as productive as Smalltalk!

J, The Modern APL

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Like APL, J is a very terse array programming language most suited to mathematical and statistical programming. It avoids APL’s special character set and relies on ASCII characters. J became open source in 2011, thus imbuing it with new life.

Perl 6 (now known as Raku), The Modern Perl

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Perl 6 is Larry Wall’s magnum opus. It tries to leapfrog Perl 5. Unfortunately, it struggles for relevancy. Perl 6 adoption is anemic.

Pharo, The Modern Smalltalk

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A most active and innovative Smalltalk dialect, Pharo is the future of this magnificent language.

Of all the “old” languages, Smalltalk is the most promising in terms of productivity and ease of programming. Its supremely simple, elegant syntax imposes virtually no cognitive load on the developer. Its live coding capability is unmatched by any of the major programming languages. Namcook Analytics conducted a study that shows Smalltalk twice as productive as JavaScript, C++, Go, Java, PHP, Python, and C#. And substantially more productive than Ruby, Elixir, Haskell, Perl, and Delphi.

Pharo might well become the future of software development!

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Racket, The Modern Scheme

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Racket improves on Scheme by adding the DrRacket IDE, a new GUI, a continuation-based web server, multithreading, and much, much more.

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