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What Peter Naur failed to understand was that design of programming languages has religious overtones and sometimes represent an activity, which is pretty close to the process of creating a new, obscure cult ;-).

Traditional high level languages field is stagnant for many decades.

From 2000 to 2017 we observed the huge sucess of Javascript; Python encroached in Perl territory (including genomics/bioinformatics) and R in turn start squeezing Python in several areas.

History of programming languages raises interesting general questions about the limit of complexity of programming languages.

There is strong historical evidence that a language with simpler core, or even simplistic core Basic, Pascal) have better chances to acquire high level of popularity.

Complex non-orthogonal languages can succeed only as a result of a long period of language development (which usually adds complexly -- just compare Fortran IV with Fortran 99; or PHP 3 with PHP 5 ) from a smaller core.

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Attempts to ride some fashionable new trend extending existing popular language to this new "paradigm" also proved to be relatively successful (OO programming in case of C , which is a superset of C).The underlying fact here probably is that most programmers are at best mediocre and such programmers tend on intuitive level to avoid more complex, more rich languages and prefer, say, Pascal to PL/1 and PHP to Perl.Or at least avoid it on a particular phase of language development (C is not simpler language then PL/1, but was widely adopted because of the progress of hardware, availability of compilers ).In the 1970s, there was a vogue among system programmers for BCPL, a typeless language.This has now run its course, and system programmers appreciate some typing support.Historically, few complex languages were successful (PL/1, Ada, Perl, C ), but even if they were successful, their success typically was temporary rather then permanent (PL/1, Ada, Perl).As Professor Wilkes noted (iee90): Things move slowly in the computer language field but, over a sufficiently long period of time, it is possible to discern trends.Recently they were instrumental in making Java a new Cobol.The second important observation about programming languages is that language per se is just a tiny part of what can be called language programming environment.The second interesting category is number of applications written in particular language that became part of Linux or, at least, are including in standard RHEL/FEDORA/CENTOS or Debian/Ubuntu repository.The third relevant category is the number and quality of books for the particular language.

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