Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 28th Jul 2013 14:06 UTC
General Development "There is a reason I use 'old' languages like J or Lush. It's not a retro affectation; I save that for my suits. These languages are designed better than modern ones. There is some survivor bias here; nobody slings PL/1 or Cobol willingly, but modern language and package designers don't seem to learn much from the masters. Modern code monkeys don't even recognize mastery; mastery is measured in dollars or number of users, which is a poor substitute for distinguishing between what is good and what is dumb. Lady Gaga made more money than Beethoven, but, like, so what?" This isn't just a thing among programmers. The entire industry is obsessed with user numbers, number of applications, and other crap that is meaningless when you consider programming to be art. When I post a new item about some small hobby operating system, the comments will be filled with negativity because it's no Windows or iOS, whereas only ten years ago, we'd have lively discussions about the implementation details. And then people wonder why that scene has died out.
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Oh goody
by Soulbender on Sun 28th Jul 2013 14:49 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

More rose-tinted glasses and ruminations on how it was better in the old days and my programming language is better than yours and yadda yadda yadda. Yes, we can all learn something from what once was but that doesn't mean today's languages are crap.

Hey, it's just like how today's music is crap and the music I grew up with is much better and deeper ... except I grew up with 70's disco and glam rock and 80's hair metal and bubblegum pop...

Edited 2013-07-28 14:52 UTC

Reply Score: 7

RE: Oh goody
by Alfman on Sun 28th Jul 2013 15:47 in reply to "Oh goody"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Soulbender,

"More rose-tinted glasses and ruminations on how it was better in the old days and my programming language is better than yours and yadda yadda yadda."

While you do have a valid point, the most popular language I use regularly in my job fits the article's description very well. I bet I don't even have to mention it by name: PHP.

While there are plenty of technically superior languages around, PHP remains top dog in open source web platforms. This language was clearly designed by amateurs who lacked depth in programming language experience. Each version fixes earlier mistakes, and so it gets better, but this in itself causes users to suffer through numerous incompatibilities over the years causing previously correct code to break. The authors lacked experience that could have made PHP so much better.

I think it's popularity was primarily due to attracting people who wanted to defect from ASP and choosing PHP due to it's similarities rather than it's qualities as a language.

Edited 2013-07-28 15:51 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[2]: Oh goody
by Soulbender on Sun 28th Jul 2013 16:29 in reply to "RE: Oh goody"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I bet I don't even have to mention it by name: PHP.


To be honest, I don't even consider PHP a proper programming language ;)

On the other hand, I'm sure we can find incredibly shitty languages from days past too.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: Oh goody
by Soulbender on Sun 28th Jul 2013 16:36 in reply to "RE: Oh goody"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Btw, you might get a kick out of this:

http://me.veekun.com/blog/2012/04/09/php-a-fractal-of-bad-design/

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Oh goody
by Kroc on Sun 28th Jul 2013 17:36 in reply to "RE: Oh goody"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Each version fixes earlier mistakes, and so it gets better


More like each version tries to become more like Java and so moves further away from what makes PHP actually useful: Productivity.

In the 1990s there was a massive boom of new programmers who started out on the new, modern, relatively-young languages rather than learning the stalwart programming languages of the 60s/70s/80.

Some of these programmers saw Java, and it was good. So they set about to turn every damn language into Java to make it "purer". This software "purism" fetish that is so common nowadays (next target: JavaScript) misses the benefits of these languages: productivity. To purists, if your Sub Main doesn't require a Factory Factory then your programming language isn't "Pure" enough. Software purism is bullcrap.

A programming language needs to be two things: Accessible, and designed in such a way that developers do The Right Thing by default.

The 60s/70s/80s industrial programming languages had poor accessibility but were designed right -- to make efficient programs as default. In the 90s programming languages were accessible (PHP / JavaScript), but incredibly stupid (security? What's that).

The march of PHP towards Java Purism is fundamentally unintelligent. It replaces productivity with fetishism. (That's not to say OOP is bad, not at all, but that's a different choice/argument than accessibility/pursim)

You cannot make languages that were bad to begin with better by making them "purer". You can only make them better by making them do The Right Thing by default.

And this, is what the PHP management does not see. They see a future of pure OOP where every developer is so enamoured by the sheer beauty of their emerald city of software purism that they will just want to code securely and efficiently. -- Instead of just adding native string types for SQL & HTML text so that these cannot be concatenated or output insecurely by default; which would be a lot less work and would do a whole lot more towards the bad security image PHP has.

*sigh* But alas. Purism is best and I have to sit by and watch JavaScript get groomed and abused by these same people who want to make JavaScript a Real Programming Language and turn it into something completely inaccessible to the masses.

Edited 2013-07-28 17:53 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: Oh goody
by Wafflez on Sun 28th Jul 2013 19:52 in reply to "RE: Oh goody"
Wafflez Member since:
2011-06-26

Hey PHP is great, majority of "thedailywtf" type articles are because of PHP.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Oh goody
by WorknMan on Sun 28th Jul 2013 17:13 in reply to "Oh goody"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Hey, it's just like how today's music is crap and the music I grew up with is much better and deeper ... except I grew up with 70's disco and glam rock and 80's hair metal and bubblegum pop...


Ummm, have you actually listened to some of today's music?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0q1wzwAMMPU

Makes Vanilla Ice seem like grammy material by comparison ;)

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Oh goody
by siride on Sun 28th Jul 2013 18:17 in reply to "RE: Oh goody"
siride Member since:
2006-01-02

There's shitty music today and there was shitty music back then. You can't judge one period by its best music and another by its worst.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[2]: Oh goody
by panzi on Sun 28th Jul 2013 18:33 in reply to "RE: Oh goody"
panzi Member since:
2006-01-22

There is still good music made:
Zoe Keating: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYrcXX4nWOA
Theophany: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_8HZNCKpdU (ok, that's a remix of something from 2000; download: http://www.terriblefate.com/)
Florence and the Machine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfBY96qxVRQ
Floex (Tomáš Dvořák): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYd7PbGEOus
The Dresden Dolls: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJ9Bv99wo-E
The Tallest Man on Earth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Giuw53r2BQ
Vienna Teng: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUpEaqdaKqw

And even auto-tune can be used in a good way:
Ellen McLain+Jonathan Coulton: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25ClYY5mwbc

Ok, none of this is "Bach" or "The Beatles", and none of it has any chance to get into the album charts. But when ever where good music in the charts? I guess you have to go back to The Beatles for that. Just don't listen to the radio. Listen to "The Internet". ;)

Also there is some low-quality music on YouTube that is still enjoyable because it is high-fun (probably only works if you're in the fandom; again auto-tune):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxA1U1DVb7I
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mn0Q2XlXRs0

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Oh goody
by Wafflez on Sun 28th Jul 2013 20:39 in reply to "RE: Oh goody"
Wafflez Member since:
2011-06-26

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ew8ZqhjM26g

Also todays music. Beats the heck out of Beatles imo...

Reply Parent Score: 3