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Subject: Main forum for the Programming Research in Mainstream Languages community

Description: PL research in mainstream languages entails challenges beyond those encountered within the isolation of the laboratory. Mainstream PLs are supported by their many users, who expect stability, but so too innovation – whether within the language itself, or its standard libraries. A mainstream PL needs to support the initial concept critique, subsequent implementations, political calculations, and, ultimate bureaucracy involved in the execution of full support for novel features – often across multiple implementations. All that debate is due to real concerns about feature interaction.

Performing PL research within a mainstream language can bring a hitherto proven research concept from the laboratory to a wider audience. Moreover, of course, the lack of isolation presents fresh challenges as new concepts must find their own idiomatic expression over the debate on feature interaction. Such contours can be found both within existing PLs; and new PLs: with or without the funding or wherewithal to approach a mainstream audience.

On the other hand, the prototype PL crafted for experimenting with a research idea might have features remote from existing mainstream PLs. Choosing a mainstream PL to host the same research entails a fresh examination of the host’s features for their suitability for the research. The implication might be a very different feature set from the host or simulation to those of the prototype in the mainstream PL. Either way, the added benefit is solving the same research problem using a fresh set of features.

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