Microsoft has introduced a brand new programming language with grand ambitions. Released as an open-source project under the MIT license, Microsoft Bosque intends to overthrow a number of long-held development paradigms with the intent of improving developer productivity and setting the stage for what the vendor calls a “second golden age” of software development.
The problem with looping structures like this, however, is that they can introduce a great deal of complexity for both those who maintain a piece of code and the compiler responsible for turning that code into an executable application, particularly when multiple loops are nested within one another.
Interdependencies between nested loops can, for example, make it particularly difficult for developers to root out the cause of an error when that error spans multiple “for” loops in the code.
Enter Bosque, which completely does away with ideas like loops in order to root out what Bosque’s creator, Mark Marron, calls “accidental complexity”. The idea is straightforward: break down the requirement that software code reflects the needs of the underlying hardware and replace those notions with something that more closely matches the intent of the developer.
For that reason, and because there are still a number of unanswered questions surrounding the value of Bosque’s more severe ideals (e.g., doing away with looping structures), it is highly unlikely that it will on its own meet the author’s stated objective of enabling “a second golden age of developments in compilers and developer tooling” now or in the near future.
Nevertheless, Bosque is critically important because it opens up a dialogue, a conversation surrounding the need for programmers to build software according to intent, not in accordance with outdated notions invented back when software and hardware were not very far removed from one another.
If Bosque does nothing but influence current and future languages by calling into question what are quite simply blindly held beliefs, replacing those with something unproven but potentially compelling, then it will have succeeded. It will have moved the needle in the direction of improvement of innovation.