In 2003, I took my family to Durango, Colorado, where we rode on the Durango & Silverton train. The narrow gauges of the railroad once served well against the narrow red sandstone cliffs, where every inch of space was at a premium. These days, the train is a relic of the past, rendered obsolete by cars and planes that are safer and more efficient. Time marches on.

Today, too, we witness revolution. Single-core computers are dead or dying. True, their multicore descendants are technical marvels. They also represent a tremendous technical challenge. The languages we used to depend on do not work as well as they once did. As a result, we are seeing a new generation of languages emerge. So far, no one has been kind enough to declare a ...

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