Re: Why? Language Archaeology ... and Metaprogramming
Posted: Jun 24, 2009 6:48 AM
> I think that there is an element of not seeing the woods
> for the trees here.
> Sure we can assert that we are making objective statements
> about the strengths and weaknesses of specific languages,
> but its disingenuous to suggest that these statements are
> the reasons for our feelings. Someone famously said that
> man is a rationalizing creature, but not a rational one.
> I could suggest that I prefer Ruby to Python because of
> whitespace but that would be a crock. I prefer Ruby to
> Python because I know it better, I feel loyalty and
> affiliation because I'm in the Ruby club and not the
> Python club.
> Its easy to be smart after the fact when discussing any
> language. But to anyone who lambasts a language creator I
> have to ask, "So WTF have you contributed to our field
> that is comparable in added value?" I recall what a superb
> improvement Fortran 77 was over Ratfor, and how hard the
> standardization committee worked on Fortran 8x, whilst
> simultaneously being criticized for being "not C++"
You don't have to be a film maker in order to criticize a movie. And you don't have to be a language creator in order to criticize a programming language.
I would have created my own programming language if I had the time. But I don't. I work as a full-time programmer, and personal life matters to me.
Mankind has progressed so far that it is impossible for an individual to be a master in every domain. Nowadays people are specialized in their domain. I can't create a programming language, but a university professor can.
> Sure C++ sucks, and Java sucks - but thats because
> everything sucks.
I have to respectfully disagree. Ada does not suck, for example.
> The reason that we are discussing these
> languages and not Delphi, Ada, C#, tcl or Modula 2 is
> because they are great languages. Great in that they
> changed the world, had a major impact that defined
> generations of developers. In ten years time we will no
> doubt be lambasting Ruby and Scala and Nice and F#
The success of C++, for example, is not because it is better than Ada, but because of its promises.
> So sure, puff your chest out and posture as you compare
> your good languages to the other bad language but remember
> that if this good language didnt exist we wouldn't have
> the experience to know whether feature X was good or bad.
I disagree again. Object-oriented programming, garbage collection, functional programming are around for at least 30 years. Various programming language features are well known both in theory and in practice for at least 30 years.
> Archeology is great, but give credit where its due to
> those who changed our world.
I would give credit to anyone who creates a programming language that does not torture me for no reason other than the shortsightedness of its creator.