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LWN.net Weekly Edition for June 13, 2013
A report from pgCon 2013
Little things that matter in language design
All comments to the contrary are wishful thinking (If I had some ham, I could have ham and eggs, if I had some eggs) and begging for a language war.
Semantic patching with Coccinelle
Posted Jan 21, 2009 19:45 UTC (Wed) by rwmj (subscriber, #5474)
Posted Jan 21, 2009 20:32 UTC (Wed) by felixfix (subscriber, #242)
You remind me of people who criticize where I go on vacation and what I do. "You could have gone to xxx and done yyy." Yeh, well, no matter where I go and what I do, I could have gone somewhere else and done something else.
Time and resources are limited. Some people would rather get on with the doing rather than learn new ways to not do things they don't have time for because they spend all their time learning new ways they won't use.
Posted Jan 21, 2009 22:23 UTC (Wed) by rwmj (subscriber, #5474)
Posted Jan 21, 2009 23:49 UTC (Wed) by felixfix (subscriber, #242)
It's just a simple fact. It has nothing to do with the benefits of education, of new and improved ways of doing things. NOTHING.
Quit taking it personally. It has zero to do with you personally, your personal taste in languages or living styles, what would be best or ideal or anything. It is a simple fact of counting heads. More people know languages other than OCaml and could contribute in those languages.
Separate raw data from your personal wishes and dreams. Valerie wrote a fact. Dispute the fact if you want, but don't ramble on about learning and better ways and so on, those are not facts.
Posted Jan 23, 2009 1:37 UTC (Fri) by giraffedata (subscriber, #1954)
Not every comment is a contradiction of the parent, and I wouldn't assume that "learn something new" was meant to say, "there's nothing unfortunate about the fact that this code is in OCaml."
Of course, I'm not really sure how "learn something new" does fit into the thread. The posts after it follow more obviously: you point out that learning something new isn't always the right thing and rwmj misreads that as learning something new is never the right thing and disagrees. While that position (learning something new is sometimes good) is obviously right, you respond as if he were arguing -- still -- that there's nothing unfortunate about the fact that this code is in OCaml.
Posted Jan 23, 2009 5:41 UTC (Fri) by rwmj (subscriber, #5474)
Posted Jan 23, 2009 8:09 UTC (Fri) by hppnq (guest, #14462)
Unfortunately explaining this is a bit like the Paul Graham explaining LISP to "Blub" programmers.
It's hard to find explanations that do a worse job of introducing people to Lisp. There's a good explanation of Haskell (PDF), including a bit of history, design choices and an overview of the functional programming paradigm.
Haskell, by the way, is roughly of the same age as Python, but is expected to become the next great programming language Any Moment Now. Or maybe not.
Posted Jan 22, 2009 6:49 UTC (Thu) by njs (guest, #40338)
Writing in a niche language *can* have the opposite effect on finding contributors, though. Darcs for instance benefited quite a bit from being written in Haskell, because there were many people who had learned the language out of interest and really wanted to work on something in Haskell, but not many real-world projects to go around. Its competitors were written in better known languages, but their potential contributor base was correspondingly diluted by all the other projects also written in those languages...
This effect does exist but it's short-lived...
Posted Jan 22, 2009 10:29 UTC (Thu) by khim (subscriber, #9252)
Yes, darcs benefited for a time from the fact that it could attract all
these people - but the end result was the same: when C crowd got it's shiny
new bauble (Git) all other projects were left in dust...
Sometimes it's good idea to use non-mainstream language because it's the
only way to produce something and you don't need many contributors: one of
the most popular DFT library (FFTW) is
written in OCaml (well, kinda). But it does limit number of
potential contributors! No way to avoid this...
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