Can there really be an objective way to determine the quality of a programming language or is it all just up to the subjectivity of the programmers when the quality of languages are discussed?

Is there a link between the amount of use a language gets and it's quality or are there well liked languages that by all accounts are still poor today.

Have the wheat been removed from the chaff when it comes to programming languages to the extent that there are no more bad languages remaining with any real usage or are poor programming languages always going to be part of computer science?

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    Hard to say because different languages are intended for different purposes. Also take something like Javascript, an awful language but made half decent by asm.js and compile to JS in other languages. – user May 13 '19 at 10:36
  • Consider C++, or Perl, or x86 assembly, really dreadful languages. And really not anything to do with retrocomputing. – Wilson May 13 '19 at 10:58
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    Sure it can. There are objective ways to reach a decision on this - just one caveat: they only work along a set of objective measures, which in turn will define goals the language should meet, thus the 'best' can only be determinated according to them (reflecting the intended task). No, amount of use doesn't give a hint. (by assumption of optimal language choice) the number of uses of a language only reflects how often task where this languages fits are done. Or in simple words: If it's about putting a nail into a wall, next to noone will choose a screw driver to do so. – Raffzahn May 13 '19 at 12:04
  • The only connection I can see between this question and retrocomputing is that the answer would have been "no" in any decade. – DrSheldon May 13 '19 at 13:48
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    This isn't a retrocomputing-specific question. You can ask the same question about modern languages. As for the answer, I'd say it's "no", not because you can't come up with objective criteria and score each language against them, but because I don't think there's an objective way to define and weight the criteria to begin with. – Ken Gober May 13 '19 at 14:39

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