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I recently started to learn the D language and was wondering, is it widespread enough that I can (or should) ask my questions on Stack Overflow? So, just how popular is D among the programmers at SO? I ask because I haven't found a single question that involves D.

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Sep 15 '09 at 16:59

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5  
Ask, don't ask to ask. –  Thomas Owens Oct 13 '08 at 16:53

8 Answers 8

There aren't so many D questions on SO mostly because the D newsgroups have a long history as the D community's focal point. I would generally ask a D question on the ng before even thinking of asking it on SO. In fact, I'd be surprised if SO came up with an answer that the ng couldn't come up with.

Of course, for the purpose of archiving good answers to specific questions, SO is much better than the ng.

Anyway, I think you'll find that D questions get answers very quickly on SO anyway, due to a number of knowledgeable D users having subscribed to the D tag feed on SO.

... doh, just realized this is a really old question that just appeared in the D RSS feed because it had been moved.

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Well, you could look at the 13 "D" questions so far here:

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/d

(just click on the D tag in your post)

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Did you notice that there's a bug that won't let you search by tag on the one letter tags? –  Lance Roberts Oct 13 '08 at 16:52
    
Just enclose it in square brackets like this: [d] –  jop Oct 13 '08 at 16:54
    
That's odd, I did just that a few days ago! At last check there were no D questions. (Nor pre-existing tag, as far as the Ask Question tag field was concerned.) –  The Wicked Flea Oct 13 '08 at 17:25
    
I made the same mistake. I searched for d with no results - but checked that c returned results (it did), so assumed there were no D questions –  Phil Nash Oct 30 '08 at 15:06
    
I just tried now and it looks like they finally fixed it: stackoverflow.com/tags -- I'm seeing 82 questions tagged with d now. –  user135933 Sep 15 '09 at 22:14

All computer programming related questions are welcome here at StackOverflow. Ask away!

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1  
No, not all of them. –  Greg Hurlman Oct 13 '08 at 16:55

Stack overflow is supposed to be a website where you can ask questions about programming. That means questions about any programming language from Flex to D to Erlang is not only allowed, but encouraged.

Besides, since D has bindings for OpenGL, it's not exactly an esoteric language.

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With 13 or so questions tagged for D so far, it's not lighting the SO world on fire. I'm by no means knowledgeable on D, but I would like to see it become more mainstream. It represents a serious attempt at taking everything that's been learned with C++ and implementing those things without needing to pay any attention to backwards compatibility. The compatibility requirements of C++ are responsible for many of the compromises and complexities that exist in C++. Two of the brightest people in the C++ world (pun intended) are deeply involved in the development of the D language, Walter Bright and Andre Alexandrescu, so I think it has hope to eventually take some ground.

One of the things that look very interesting to me is the meta-programming model D has adopted. Templates and template meta-programming in D look much like normal D programming, because essentially that's what it is.

So anyway, I'd say ask away here - hopefully I'll learn something useful and it'll help D gain some traction.

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D is a promising language, and is maybe where Ruby or Python was a few years ago. It's not exactly esoteric, but it's not completely mainstream either. Right now, I think the main things getting in the way of it becoming more mainstream are the standard signs of an immature but promising language. Most of the libraries for it are still very much works in progress. Same for development tools like IDEs and debuggers. D 2.0, currently in alpha, adds tons of cool stuff, but breaks backwards compatibility in all kinds of places because it's simply too early in D's lifetime as a language to let backwards compatibility constrain things too much.

Additionally, D has 2 standard libraries. Phobos is the "official" library, and Tango is a community-developed alternative. Tango only works on the D1 branch, though efforts are underway to port it to D2, and is popular among D1 users. Phobos has improved significantly in D2, but the D1 version is very underpowered, which was the original reason for Tango's existence. Therefore, very few D1 people use Phobos. The fact that using D2 and using Tango are currently mutually exclusive has created fragmentation in the D community between D1/Tango users and D2/Phobos users. Furthermore, Tango and Phobos have, at the moment, incompatible runtimes, so they can't both be used in the same project, and some add-on libraries use Tango and others use Phobos. This makes the sparsity of libraries inherent in any young language that much worse in D.

Despite these growing pains, D is an extremely well-thought out language that attempts to take 20+ years of experience in designing languages and create a new performance-oriented/systems language without the cruft and outdated design decisions of previous eras. The Tiobe index shows that it is already at the cusp of mainstream. Efforts are underway as we speak to mend the rift between D1/Tango users and D2/Phobos users by porting Tango to D2 and creating a common runtime so both libs can be used in the same project. I believe that, between Walter and Andrei, D just has too much pure genius behind it to fail, and will become mainstream in the next few years, when the two standard libraries are at least runtime compatible, development tools and libraries mature, and D2 has gone gold.

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Well, I've been into D but lack of good IDE and even more a nice and working debugger keeps me away from it... and that means years now. I think/fear it will lose it's momentum, and won't gather enough resources/folks because it's still missing basic tools, and I don't see those coming, and don't see the D commmunity recognizing the importance of it.

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I've been programming in D off and on since 2003, and I love it. It's powerful, fast, and a lot more productive than C++.

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