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Ovid (2709)

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Stuff with the Perl Foundation. A couple of patches in the Perl core. A few CPAN modules. That about sums it up.

Journal of Ovid (2709)

Wednesday August 16, 2006
04:07 PM

David Heinemeier Hansson is Right

[ #30657 ]

Love him, hate him, or just be damned envious of him, David Heinemeier Hansson, the creator or Ruby on Rails, often has astute things to say:

Java has become a mace (sic) of complexity because of the attempt to shield developers from [complexity]. So that screws up the intention to help the lower levels.

(Forgive him for his typos; English is not his first language. There's no excuse for my typos.)

I'm sure many will agree, but here's my interpretation of what David has to say.

Hire ten monkeys and you'll get work worthy of ten monkeys!


Many good programmers were initially attracted to Java due to what it offered and many of them stay there for the job prospects. Though I admire what Paul Graham has to say on the subject, I don't believe for a second that great hackers don't use Java. Look at James Duncan Davidson. He's a great hacker and he used Java for many years. Admittedly, he's turned away from it, but it's not like he used Java and became a code monkey while he was doing it.

Great programmers also use Java but because the language puts handcuffs on you, it's difficult to paint the ceiling of the cathedral. Put a glass ceiling on abstractions and certain levels of complexity become impossible to manage. (How's that for mixed yet slightly coupled metaphors?)

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  • I have a co-worker that won't do program in anything but Java. We "talk" back and forth because I really don't want to use Java. I would rather stick to Tcl and Perl for getting stuff done. I have yet to find something where Java is *the* language to use. About the only thing that I do like about Java is the Oracle thin client so I don't have to pack around the actual client to use the db.
  • I think he really does mean "mace" there: as in "something with spikey bits that causes damage". Mace/shield/la la la...

    cf "dumped down", a deliberate near homonym. No real problems with English that I can detect, even if his prose has a very distinctive *grain*!
  • Hire ten monkeys and you’ll get work worthy of ten monkeys!

    Yeah, one might be inclined to “d’uh” – if only the management and businesspeople actually understood that notion…