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What is Factor good for?

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That's a question that gets asked a lot on the mailing list and in the irc channel (#concatenative on Freenode). Here, I'll try to give my answer to that question.

My view is that languages and computer things in general should be judged on what they are now, not what they can become in the future. Things like Bitcoin, the Julia programming language, LLVM gets a silly amount of attention due to the hyped promises on that they will someday be awesome.

Let's take ClojureScript as an example. The promise is that you will someday be able to write your websites in Clojure and use the cljs compiler to compile to Javascript. Well, last I checked, the javascript files it generated was hundreds of kilobytes large and the compiler took something like 30 seconds to run.

The developers are probably working on fixing that (or they might even already have, in the latest git version), but currently it is not useful tool for writing web sites.

If we apply the same critical mindset when judging Factor's usefulness, what do we get? Well here are some things Factor can do for you today:

And some points Factor is weak at: