My experiment with Scala is not working out. It’s just not ready for prime time, and is overkill for my needs. Reluctantly, I am falling back to Java.
Category Archives: General
Programming is deeply disappointing. We continually fail to live up to our own expectations, more so than any other form of engineering or craft. And it’s not getting much better. The lack of any substantial progress is the most disappointing thing of all. Worst of all: it is our own fault.
The history of programming languages is depressing. Generally worse is better. Socio-economic factors dominate. But there seems to be one giant exception: Ruby & Rails. I haven’t studied them deeply, but they look like really good work that has succeeded on its merits. Ruby is a tastefully designed language with a coherent philosophy of making […]
As an experiment, I am announcing new blog posts on my twitter feed @jonathoda. I am also going to try tweeting pearls of programming wisdom that I find. Feedback welcome.
The discussion on my previous post (Why numbering should start at one) suggests a new approach. Maybe these blogging tubes are good for something after all.
Should collection/sequence/array indices start with zero or one? Most current languages choose zero. For flux, I am choosing one. This choice is orthogonal, meaning that I can easily change it if it turns out to be wrong. The reason to discuss such a trivial issue is that it is an example of how choices that made […]
Hey, long time. Having a snow day here, which is a good day to catch up. My son got sick this summer, which knocked me out of commission for a while, but I am back to work now. As promised last June, I have defined the formal semantics of a core language that captures the […]
Here. I actually haven’t watched it yet because it is just too freaky to see myself on video. I’ll wait till Edward Norton plays me in the movie version.
I meant to write this earlier, but I have been occupied with a family medical emergency. The EL camp was a great experience, and I hope they do it again. I met more interesting people, and heard more interesting ideas, than at any other conference I have attended. Naturally there were ups and downs. There […]
Slides are at [PPT][PDF]. I will probably only have time to present a subset of these slides.
The biggest problem with programming is that we don’t agree on what the problem is. The comments on the previous posts reveal fundamentally incompatible views. I am equally shocked by the opinions held by some distinguished academics and leading practitioners. Our views of programming are so at odds that it’s almost as if we were […]
Reflecting upon my previous post, I am wondering why LISP triumphalists like Paul Graham annoy me so much? Perhaps it is because I used to be one myself, in spirit if not in syntax. And also because I now see them as a major symptom of what ails programming.
I just read yet another recycling of the old myth of how some esoteric programming language (often Lisp or Haskell) is the secret weapon that allowed a team to outperform expectations by an order of magnitude. Paul Graham has strongly encouraged this myth (see Beating the Averages), but it has been circulating for ages. It […]
Much has been written lately about Apple restricting iPhone and iPad apps to only use Apple programming languages and libraries. This is indeed an alarming development for the future of programming. Opinion is split as to whether this decision shows Steve Jobs to be a visionary hero seeking only to improve the quality of the […]
Abstract for my talk at Emerging Languages Camp: We cannot evolve beyond imperative programming until we solve the problem of coordinating changes to state. Functional programming and transactions segregate the problem, but don’t solve it. I am exploring a new kind of language, inspired by modern “Model-View-Binding” application frameworks. The language uses bidirectional data binding […]
Per Vognsen suggests a Haskell version of the damage function from my Schematic Tables talk: data Attack = Magic | Melee hit surprise defense attack = damage where effectiveness = power * (if surprise then 3 else 2) (power, damage) = case attack of Magic -> (5, max 0 (effectiveness – defense)) Melee -> (4, […]
I have been invited to the Emerging Languages Camp. Sounds like fun. Let’s meet up.
Check out the cool demo of Code Bubbles. This is some very nice, fresh thinking. As Gilad Bracha says, standard IDE’s look like the console of a B-52. I look forward to reading the details, which they are embargoing until their papers are presented. I wonder what UI they used? I see zooming, transparent overlays, […]
The last several months I have been trying to make coherence deterministic, using what PL theoreticians call a type and effect system. The effect system is telling me to return to the tree data model of Subtext (which I had set aside as too complex), but with static types. Therefore I am redefining Subtext as […]
I am chairing workshops at the Onward conference this year. The Onward! conference is dedicated to new ideas at the frontier of knowledge about software and programming. Onward! workshops are located a day’s ride past the frontier. They are where groups can explore uncharted ideas. They are an ideal base for intellectual insurrections. Workshops proposals […]