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JOEL ON SOFTWARE: And on Diverse and Occasionally Related Matters That Will Prove of Interest to Software Developers, Designers, and Managers, and to Those Who, Whether by Good Fortune or Ill Luck, Work with Them in Some Capacity by Joel Spolsky

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part oneBits and Bytes:The Practice ofProgramming

oneCHOOSING A LANGUAGE

SUNDAY, MAY 5, 2002

Why do developers choose one programming language over another for a given task?

Sometimes I choose raw C when I need blazing speed.

When I want something that will run on Windows with as small a distribution as possible, I often choose C++ with MFC statically linked.

When we need a GUI that will run on Mac, Windows, and Linux, a common choice is Java. Although the GUI will not be perfect, it will work.

For rapid GUI development and really smooth UIs, I like Visual Basic, but I know that I'm going to have to pay the price in the size of the distributable and the fact that I'll be locked into Windows.

For a command-line tool that must run on any UNIX ...

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