On Polyglot Programming in the Web

On Polyglot Programming in the Web

Juhana Harmanen (Ada Drive Ltd., Finland) and Tommi Mikkonen (Tampere University of Technology, Finland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9916-8.ch006
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Abstract

Different programming languages have been designed to solve problems efficiently in different domains. The goal of polyglot programming, a technique where several languages are used in the creation of a single application, is to combine and utilize the best solutions from different programming languages and paradigms in a seamless fashion. In this paper, the authors examine polyglot programming in the context of web applications, where it has been commonly used to create compelling applications, but where there is still considerable potential to improve development in various ways.
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Background

The forced separation of languages in writing can be considered somewhat unnatural in this multilingual world. Authors of novels, for instance, sometimes break this separation because it is too restrictive, and journalists and historians combine philosophic prose with statistical facts (Beardsmore, 1978). The Russian author Leo Tolstoy, in his novel War and Peace written in Russian language, frequently borrowed words and phrases from French and German to be as expressive and effective in language as possible. Rare and inventive authors like J.R.R. Tolkien have even made up their own languages.

To some extent, programming languages share properties with natural languages. Each programming language has its own nuances that make it distinct from others. This can be seen as a justification for mixing languages to create a combination of characteristics needed for solving a particular problem that no single language can address elegantly.

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