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

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Tuesday, February 08, 2005

When to Generate

Xach Beane is dissing maps.google.com...

Google Maps is essentially a large JavaScript application. Great hackers have an almost instinctual aversion to JavaScript. Google is betting its future on something a tasteful programmer's radar rejects.
I don't think JavaScript is that bad, but I've never been accused of being a great hacker. JavaScript has a few things going for it...
  • It is fairly simple and regular. Not a lot of obscure corners.
  • It is ubiquitous and familiar.
  • Most of the interesting uses for it in the browser can be written once or generated on the server!


Tolstoy said...

It's a parody, isn't it? I think he's making fun of Paul Graham, Eric Raymond, and their tendency to decide what it means to be a hacker in elitist terms. Note the page style is Grahams.

Maybe I misunderstood your post.

Ian Bicking said...

Heh, yeah, very Grahamesque. But anyway...

Discerning hackers don't generate Javascript (anymore). The DOM is messy (in terms of cross-browser support), but the core language is fairly consistently implemented and includes many powerful features like closures. Familiar? Actually, not so hot IMHO -- there's a subset of Javascript that is widely known, but things like OO in Javascript are still a little mysterious to many people (myself included). It also has some painfully missing pieces when it comes to modularity; little things like being able to easily import one library from another in Javascript (or even a solid notion of library).

Patrick Logan said...

A nicely done parody, if it is. Right on the mark, down to the look.

Well, completely swooshed by my brain in any case.

I'd like to test that against other readers: is this a parody?

Anonymous said...

Yes, after seeing this linked to from Fredrik's blog, I started to sense a parody: the weird art, dismissing a technology on a triviality, trotting out the only apparent public success of Common Lisp for the nth time. I thought Paul Graham had slipped into a self-parodying phase - something which various bloggers should probably consider doing for real.

Anonymous said...

I took it seriously at first, but I was pretty sure it was parody by the end. Look at the comments on lemonodor, there's a few people mentioning other parodies Xach has done. The problem with really good satire is that most people have to take it seriously for it to qualify.

-- Gordon Weakliem

Anonymous said...

Zach Beane could almost pass a Paul Graham Turing test.

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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.