Modula and Modula-2 went nowhere not because they’re particularly high level languages (they’re not much higher than C!) but because they didn’t have a quasi-free operating system spreading like a virus to bolster their popularity. At the time Unix was almost unique in being a semi-capable operating system written in a portable language that wasn’t wrapped up in billions of proprietary licensing arrangements (because AT&T didn’t notice there was a potential market for it until after the cat had escaped the bag).

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