TechDays 2010 Keynote by Anders Hejlsberg: Trends and future directions in programming languages

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Anders Hejlsberg opens the developer keynote at TechDays 2010 in Belgium with: 'Trends and future directions in programming languages', on March 31st 2010. In this keynote Anders discusses the paradigms and future directions in programming languages.

About Anders Hejlsberg:

Anders Hejlsberg is a Technical Fellow in the Developer Division. He is an influential creator of development tools and programming languages. He is the chief designer of the C# programming language and a key participant in the development of the Microsoft .NET framework. Since its initial release in 2000, the C# programming language has been widely adopted and is now standardized by ECMA and ISO. Before his work on C# and the .NET framework, Hejlsberg was an architect for Visual J++ development and the Windows Foundation classes.  Before joining Microsoft in 1996, Hejlsberg was one of the first employees of Borland International Inc. As principal engineer, he was the original author of Turbo Pascal, a revolutionary integrated development environment, and chief architect of its successor, Delphi.  Hejlsberg co-authored "The C# Programming Language", published by Addison Wesley, and has received numerous software patents. In 2001, he was the recipient of the prestigious Dr. Dobbs Excellence in Programming Award.  He studied engineering at the Technical University of Denmark.



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The Discussion

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  • User profile image

    "The .Net Framework has about 10,000 classes with about 100,000 methods..." Help me I'm drowning! I envy the Turbo Pascal programmer of old.

  • User profile image

    Thank you.  Will the c# 4.0 talk be posted also?

  • User profile image

    I'd rather have 10,000 classes with about 100,000 methods than 10,000 flat files with 100,000 methods, all of which require P/Invoke.


    After listening to the entire talk, I finally understand dynamic languages, and I understand where I'd like to use them.


    The issue I have with PLINQ is that it's sometimeslabelled as, "concurrency for the masses" and it bothers me.  Concurrency is still hard, no matter how you slice it.  I'm just worried of juniors throwing .AsParallel() on their LINQ queries and having horrid side effects.  But also, prototyping doesn't require a Ph.D. in threading.


    I'm sure when .NET first came out and garbage collection was introduced the same apprehension was felt regarding this carelessness, just an observation.

  • User profile image

    Nice talk. About dynamic languages what I find interesting is that the disadvantages of dynamic languages are disappearing - notice in Javascript that when you program in a "static style", the resulting program will be quite efficient, you pay for dynamism but if you don't use it, you don't pay very much. The new, more friendly, browser wars will push this trend to the limit.

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    Anders is amazing as always. I'm glad he's in charge of our future languages development. The way he mixes practicality with pragmatism and evolution almost feels like magic.


  • User profile image

    Yes, C# 4 talk is also coming later in April. Just hold on for a week or so.

  • User profile image

    Thanks for posting this. Belux people Smiley


    I've featured it, as it deserves.


  • User profile image

    how about other sessions from TechDays 2010 ??? Tongue Out

  • User profile image

    Nit: inline caching is a very old technique from Smalltalk and Self. 

  • User profile image

    I've heard Anders give this talk before .. and Luca Bolognese gave a similar talk at PDC ...

    however ... there are a few new wrinkles here  ...


    • an extensive discussion of DSLs - obvoiusly the team wants to add some sort of support in the language (could this be related to the change in focus of OSLO? (a product that I never understood anyway. If you cant describe a product in a sentence or two something is definately wrong)
    • immutable objects - specifcally ... isolation, purity (side effects) and immutability ... I love that Anders said "We should have better support in the language for immutability" ... clearly they're working on language features to make creating an immutable object dead easy!
  • User profile image

    TechDays was pretty good this year. The sessions I enjoyed most were the Scott Hanselman sessions (very entertaining), the Anders Hejlsberg sessions, Bart Desmet's session about CLR 4 and Sara Ford's session about Visual Studio Tips.

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    Is it just me... or should the declarative and dynamic circles be a whole lot smaller and more contained in the concurrent circle?

    It seems that the advances in the declarative and dynamic areas are mainly to enable the concurrent area. As presented, the trend is multi-core and everything needs to catchup to make that the baseline abstraction.

    Congradulations to Anders, that was a very concise, interesting and enjoyable overview.

    One final thought, it seemed as Anders wanted to add one more sentence about JavaScript something like "But it's still at best 2 times slowed than compiled code." To that end, can the compiler as a service create compiled code that can be agnostic as a dynamic language like JavaScript? Especially as just putting the JavaScript at the end of the html body tag (instead of header as per examples), decreases the load time of the page so much.

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    Alex Covic

    It's my fault.


    I read the title and thought the content would match it: 'Trends and future directions in programming languages'


    So, what is the future in programming languages? Doing the /qParallel - all problems solved? 


    Sorry, but this keynote is for 5-year old programming toddlers? Nothing in there, that Anders did not say before in the videos Charles did over the years? But, I am not the audience for this. I did not want to sound too harsh.


    This sounds more like a Level 100 for marketing types who have to sell the new VS? Who is this audience?


    There are many moments when I was shaking my head, since the old discussions are popping up - this time unchallenged. Watching the power of dynamic and functional programming languages through his old 2D-OO-glasses is great for .NET, I guess.


    Again, it's my fault.

  • User profile image

    The talk is about future directions as well, it's just that it does not contain much new information about that future - and that's all very understandable as the future is outlined in abstract terms. I think many people would have liked more details but the future is still unfolding and obviously the team does not want to reveal preliminary work, which may change many times still, in any detail. In retrospect, I think that's always been the case with previous versions. So your misunderstanding here is two-fold: 1) that the talk is not about the future and 2) that old news cannot be about the future (as if abstract plans were realized the very moment they were stated.)


    To the point about auto-parallelization: that's a misunderstanding or misrepresentation of the talk: no such thing was implied or stated - desirable as it may be. Anders just said there were many scenarios where a simple Parallel.For would be appropriate, something which is obviously true and one would be foolish to object to.

  • User profile image

    I'd really like to see Anders' other session and also very much Bart's session.

  • User profile image

    Starting the 12th of April they will be uploaded gradually. Latest April 20th, all sessions should be online. Cheers, Hans

  • User profile image

    Before uploading, please do a good job of compressing the video. It is VC-1 compression after all and the WMV-High version should not suffer posterization, blocking and other highly noticeable artifacts, making it not much better than the regular WMV version.




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    Can we download the slides from some place?

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    Rick Minerich

    The slide near the end with all of the languages on it would make an awesome evangelism sticker.

  • User profile image

    The slides are available here: and then enter 'Anders Hejlsberg' in the speaker search box. PPT's and videos of the other TechDays sessions are available too over there!

  • User profile image

    very well!

    it's insightful!

  • User profile image

    very well !

    I like ...

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