[racket] The value of a language

From: Matthias Felleisen (matthias at ccs.neu.edu)
Date: Wed May 9 16:53:17 EDT 2012

1983: Pascal doesn't have closures, so I built records once I understood the concept. But -- and that is a HUGE but -- I didn't really understand the concept of a closure until I had programmed in Scheme. In reality I couldn't imagine programming with closures when my boss told me it was possible and argued we could do it in Pascal. 

1998: C programmers didn't know about objects until they worked in Java for a while. I am sure, however, that they could have managed with structs and function pointers. 

2012: I am certain that Java-ists don't understand modules like MLers do. 

2020: I also don't think Haskellians understand macros the way Racketeers do. 

These programmers are just too lazy to immerse themselves in something novel and truly learn. Now let's do some real work -- Matthias

On May 9, 2012, at 4:31 PM, Grant Rettke wrote:

> Java doesn't have a nice module system but most people use IoC
> containers for the same thing.
> On Wed, May 9, 2012 at 3:16 PM, J. Ian Johnson <ianj at ccs.neu.edu> wrote:
>> The abstractions and protections an API can provide are entirely fueled by the language its implementation (and its consumers) is written in, however. Is this not the case?
>> -Ian
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Grant Rettke" <grettke at acm.org>
>> To: "racket" <users at racket-lang.org>
>> Sent: Wednesday, May 9, 2012 3:42:06 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
>> Subject: [racket] The value of a language
>> Hi,
>> Hope this is on topic, if it is not a substantive contribution I apologize.
>> I just want to share a conversation from work. Bunch of experienced
>> developers who are all very thoughtful reached the conclusion that the
>> most important thing in a language choice is the APIs that come with
>> it. Basically talking through it, that is the thing that speeds up
>> work, and people can basically "think in any language they like" and
>> then "mentally compile it down" to whatever is the implementation
>> language. I generally agree in a corporate environment because you do
>> want save your customers time and therefore money and I have never
>> tried a non-mainstream language there such that I had real evidence
>> there is a more productive way to do things.
>> This was the same day that I finally read about syntax/parse and was
>> thinking about how much nicer it would be to use that than the
>> plumbing work I had to do to get nice error reporting, so perhaps I
>> was more struck with their observation. It was just funny to hear
>> everybody keep saying "the language doesn't matter" because it is so
>> different than how I think, and how I think other lispers think, and
>> even PLT people in general.
>> I thought this was a funny coincidence because I wanted to talk about
>> how great syntax/parse, and well I did talk to my one buddy about it
>> :).
>> Best wishes,
>> Grant
>> --
>> http://www.wisdomandwonder.com/
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