"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

When All Else Fails

There is a lot of fear about dynamic languages in the comments at James Robertson's blog (and at Tim Bray's).

I recommend these handy little things called "tests". When all else fails, do the right thing.

The devil is out to steer you onto the wrong path.

I'm convinced that they are not suited for large-scale software development...
I guess if I listened to the devil, he'd have me recall all those large-scale applications I've written over the last 25 years that have designed electronics, moved things through factories, dispatched equipment in hurricanes, and so on because they're not written in a suitable language.

Beware the devil. Over on the devil's own blog...

I think there [a solution]: dynamic languages that allow you to type your variables if you feel like it, and the only language that I can think of that does that at the moment is Groovy.
Well, let's see. Common Lisp had that about 22 years ago. Maybe there's something to learn from a couple decades of real experience? Conclusion? Feh.

This is the devil that used to want you to program in C, not Smalltalk. Then C++, not Smalltalk. Then Java, not Smalltalk. Now he's willing to give you Smalltalk if you type your objects once in a while.

Don't listen to the devil. Write tests in simple, dynamic languages. Do good work. Keep the devil at bay.


Steve Lewis said...

LOL. I've started using Python for my scripting needs (stuff that just wouldn't get done because I had my Java blinders on) and I'm having a blast.

Isaac Gouy said...

Maybe it's just me, but responding to FUD with pap just makes it seem like there are 2 tribes shouting at each other, and there's not a lot to choose between them.

When we stop shouting and start arguing it's a lot easier to see who is in contact with reality.

The answer to Cedric's rhetorical question 'Who wants a refactoring IDE that "works most of the time"?' is simple enough - everyone! - "works most of the time" describes the reality of refactoring with Java IDEs over the past X years.

The answer to Cedric's rhetorical question 'how come we still don't have a decent refactoring browser for Ruby? (or any other dynamic language' is simple enough - we do! - we have a decent refactoring browser for Smalltalk, we can make changes 50x faster that's pretty decent.

The answer to Cedric's flat assertion "I'm convinced that they are not suited for large scale development ..." is the childlike question - why? - a challenge to substantiate a blank opinion.

And even though I understand it goes against echo chamber blogging, the effective place to correct Cedric's ignorance of Lisp/Dylan/... is in-his-face, on his blog, directly asking that he correct assertions based on ignorance.

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.