After a short but lively debate, the Language of the Year project seems to have settled down into a rough concensus on the language to be studied in 2003. And the consensus is: there will be at least three languages for 2003.

In 2002, it was fairly easy for everyone to settle on Haskell. But I think it was deceptively simple: partly it was self-selection. The organizers of the group already had their own hearts set on Haskell, and people who weren’t interested in that simply didn’t join. This year the true complexities came to the fore.

Of course, it’s impossible for such a group to settle on just one language every year. The goal of the group is to learn different things and stretch one’s mind, after all, and one person’s “wildly different” is another’s “what I grew up with.”

Some people will continue with Haskell, because they didn’t have time this year to learn it as well as they’d hoped. (I’m in that camp.)

I’m also part of a group that wants to learn advanced Common Lisp (especially macro usage) and CLOS. I’m doing more and more work in Ruby, and I suspect I’ll be doing more in Objective C; both of those languages are dynamic enough that I think the metaprogramming that is Lisp’s forte will come in handy.

Another group is planning to learn Oz. It certainly does look interesting, but I know myself well enough to know that I need to learn a little more about Oz as a background task before my enthusiasm will really build. (Besides, I’m already a quarter of the way through On Lisp.)