Programmers: How many "stillborn" languages did you learn?

This is a followup to the "Programmers: How many dead languages do you know?"thread.

By “stillborn” I’m referring to those languages or technologies that were touted as being the next “big thing” but which never caught on.

For me the best example would be Visual Objects or VO from Nantucket and Computer Associates. VO is probably only remembered by Clipper-heads from the 90’s. Clipper was an enormously popular programming language based on dBASE III, but, like all DOS based technology, it was character based, so when the world went GUI, Clipper-heads demanded a GUI based Clipper, and what they got was VO.

Since I was president of the local Clipper User Group, I was “rewarded” with early releases of the product and free training at CA’s headquarters. I have to admit that I bought into the “best-of-breed” claims surrounding VO and contributed to the hype long before I really had tested the product.

However after days, then weeks, then months of working with it and doing little more than creating an “About” screen, I had to confess to the user group that I couldn’t figure the damn thing out and if anyone else wanted to give it a try, they were welcome to it. I can’t remember who I gave the disks to, but I do remember that I never heard back from them.

I wonder how many VO apps were ever actually created.

That’s setting the “next big thing” bar pretty low if it was all marketing hype. Back in the late '70s SIGPLAN Notices had a paper about a new language pretty much every issue. Since I was thinking about language design I read these, but I can’t claim to have known the languages, or used them. Before the Web it was a lot harder to distribute stuff.

The language I invented was not stillborn - it got me a PhD, which was all it was designed to do.

One of my college instructors was a big fan of Modula-2, so I learned that. Has anybody ever used it for anything?

I was lucky in that I transitioned to ‘C’ very early, but I also learned Pascal and Modula-2 along the way. And various flavors of assembly language for the 6502, Z-80, and 68000 microprocessors.