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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RE[4]: Oh goody
by Kroc on Sun 28th Jul 2013 22:31 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Oh goody"
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

Apologies for waxing poetical. "Purism" in simplest terms is best described as "being more meta". The more meta a language it is, the "purer" it is perceived -- that is, more abstract and layered. Templates, Generics, Factories, Overloading, Abstract/Polymorphic classes and so on. Each is a useful feature, but a "pure" language is one that begins with very high-level concepts that must be understood before one can begin to understand the code. The code becomes opaque and incomprehensible to anybody who does not have the "knowledge" of these high-level meta concepts about how the code is organised, structured and designed. Anybody who does not understand this inside-knowledge is looked down upon and nobody is willing to explain it to you.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[5]: Oh goody
by lucas_maximus on Sun 28th Jul 2013 22:52 in reply to "RE[4]: Oh goody"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

The code becomes opaque and incomprehensible to anybody who does not have the "knowledge" of these high-level meta concepts about how the code is organised, structured and designed. Anybody who does not understand this inside-knowledge is looked down upon and nobody is willing to explain it to you.


What a load of bollox. Everyone of those concepts you listed is well documented and has hundreds of examples online.

It not like you suddenly can't write simple web scripts in either PHP or JavaScript. Both languages have been been given more features to allow those that need them to use them.

Edited 2013-07-28 22:52 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[6]: Oh goody
by Kroc on Mon 29th Jul 2013 09:42 in reply to "RE[5]: Oh goody"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Not so. Individually, features are documented, of course, but needlessly complex combinations of them can instantly become incomprehensible. When you move from documented examples into the cleverness of the human mind to layer meta-architecture on top of these principles then you get into the realm of the in-crowd.

Saying "it's documented" is just another way to look down at those who don't understand. Purism aims to turn programming languages not into art, but into a magic trick, one whose secrets are not accessible to the plebeians who aren't willing to grind their face against the documentation for days on end.

What I want is programming to be accessible, obvious and not steeped in meta-concepts. Concepts that do need to be learned (as with anything), such as classes and inheritance should be apparent at face value, not doing magic because the person doesn't know that something else buried somewhere else is having some effect that totally changes the behaviour with no indicator as to why (ala PHP).

Reply Parent Score: 3