[racket] New web pages!

From: Neil Van Dyke (neil at neilvandyke.org)
Date: Sun Mar 16 17:50:07 EDT 2014

This is the weekend, and I'm off the clock.

I think there is a balance to be achieved in advocacy/evanglism, but I 
get tired of it, especially when it gets one hung up arguing minutiae 
that people found boring years ago.

Are we really arguing about slowness, WITH JAVA PROGRAMMERS?  (Do they 
not know their own people's recent history?  Next, will we have 
client-side Web programmers trying to school everyone about 
computational efficiency?)  And do we really have to talk about 
parentheses?  (Didn't the respectability of languages like Python get us 
past the everything-has-to-look-like-C/Java, quite some years ago?)  And 
who still thinks that Lisp is about AI.   (Hint: AI changed decades ago, 
and some Lisp descendants have changed a lot since then, too.)

This is the 21st century, and the smart programmers tend to be 
conversant on topics in software development outside the thinking of 
corporate open-plan office workpods.  I wouldn't want to disturb the 
workpods that don't want to be distracted from their policies and 
procedures.  I'd rather spend my time talking with people who are 
interested in domain-specific languages, multi-paradigm programming, 
algorithms, software engineering process (as opposed to cargo cults), 
and the various innovations that come when people learn lots of things 
and think about and beyond that.

A story...

The bulk of the software programming world is automobile technicians who 
just change oil all day.

Many of them get really good at changing the oil, and maybe making 
modest repairs to particular series of cars.

A handful of those people will look beyond that, and become master 
mechanics, but most won't get experience or be able to see beyond oil 
changes and other rote procedures.

Then there are the people who always wanted to design cars or 
spaceships.  They learn how to change oil and do repairs early on, but 
they also go off and learn a lot more, and possibly end up working for 
Lamborghini or Tesla or their own company.

These Tesla engineers then reach out to promising young oil-changers 
they see, saying unto them, "Come, hit the books, and join us in 
searching for better ways of doing things."

But the oil-changers cry out, "Get real, spaceman.  I can't even find 
the oil on your toy car.  And what the hell kind of bolt head is that?  
Don't you know how the real world works?  Now leave me alone; I've got 
oil to change."

The Tesla engineers weep for the oil-changers.  Then cheer up themselves 
by checking their stock options.

Maybe the Tesla engineers should let the children who want to design 
cars and spaceships come to them.

Neil V.

Posted on the users mailing list.