[ yes, this is "primarily opinion based;" VTC if you must ]

In Literate Programming Knuth wrote:

... I chose PASCAL as the programming language ... ; it is not my favorite language for system programming, but it has become a “second language” for so many programmers that it provides an exceptionally effective medium of communication. ...

If DEK were writing (or re-writing) TeX today, what language would he choose? (It might be CWEB, see his FAQ.)

It seems the C might have the same reach that PASCAL once did; although C++ is probably "better" than C in so many ways for a program like TeX (but C might be a "second language" for most C++ programmers). ECMAScript is also widely available and well known, although it's not really intended for a program like TeX. With C#/.NET now more-or-less cross-platform, maybe that's everybody's "second favorite language"? Of course, Java would be the "no Microsoft!" alternative to C#.

What language today might fulfill the same goals for TeX as PASCAL did in the early 80s? This is (mostly) a TeX question because of some of its unique goals; without such "requirements," TeX might still be in SAIL or would be written in PL/1.

  • 6
    @ChristianHupfer FORTRAN? Be still my heart! Feb 23 '17 at 18:35
  • 3
    Yes, opinion-based. The only person who can answer this question is professor Knuth himself. And he might need a few minutes to think about it as well.
    – Johannes_B
    Feb 23 '17 at 18:36
  • 4
    @StevenB.Segletes: Ok, let's use assembly language....
    – user31729
    Feb 23 '17 at 18:37
  • 5
    Knuth was not interested in the language, he was interested in the algorithms. Any language would do... :) Feb 23 '17 at 18:48
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    Doesn't this question beg a prior question? Why think that Knuth would write TeX today?
    – cfr
    Feb 24 '17 at 1:25