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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)

Thursday May 08, 2008
06:36 AM

Arc Is Taking Over the World

[ #36352 ]

Er, no it's not. This brief (and snarky) blog post pretty much sums up my feelings.

I've already been pretty critical of Arc, but pretty much ignored it after that. I've taken another peek and, once again, I'm still terribly impressed. Paul Graham has made arc code smaller for those projects he wants to focus on. He does this with decent libraries (well, decent if you don't mind 'ASCII-only' and layout controlled via HTML tables).

Welcome to the Intarweb, circa 1999.

I probably wouldn't be this harsh, but Graham has spent so long talking about "superior" programming languages that he pretty much had to knock this out of the park or tone his rhetoric down.

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  • The linked blog post is stupid. You can't judge a language based on its most popular web framework. (Rails is *not* Ruby!) HTML tables have nothing to do with programming. They work, so who cares!?

    The real problem with Arc (and a lot of other new lisps; Clojure for example) is that it tries to be not Lisp by forcing syntax onto the user. The point of Lisp is that syntax is words and lists. When you start adding a bunch of weird-ass constructs to the language, you end up with a really shitty version of
    • It's not that I don't like Arc. I really don't know enough about it and two of the things that I would need to use it seriously simply aren't there. I also agree completely with Graham about 'blub'. My issue is that he spent a lot of time getting people excited about, well, nothing much. If you're going to whip people into a lather about something and it's not vapourware, you're going to look pretty silly when it fails to live up to its hype [].

  • It's far more likely that the growing interest in Seaside [] will make Arc simply a blip.
    • Randal L. Schwartz
    • Stonehenge
    • I've noticed you've been blogging about that in your Smalltalk blog [], but I confess that while I love the programming language inherent in Smalltalk, the whole idea of an "image" is a bit much to swallow. (It sounds like a fantastic idea, but something I'd have to wrap my head around).

      That being said, it rather sounds like much of the power of Smalltalk would be gutted by switching over to a file-based system.

      • If you want a file-based approach, there's always the GNU Smalltalk, which is being actively maintained and just recently got the ability to run Seaside.

        However, I still don't understand why people object to images. Think of it as "your application, with an embedded great IDE, library, and debugger". Very simple. You don't object to the debugger being part of the Perl application when you say "perl -d", do you?

        • Randal L. Schwartz
        • Stonehenge
        • I guess it's the play-well-with-others aspect, when a file is not the primary unit of source code any more.

          So it's impossible or difficult to use existing knowledge and infrastructure for e.g. source control. (or is it?) (I've heard there are vcs specifically for Smalltalk code.)

          But a project is never just the source code, there are always other artefacts; SQL files, web pages, images, requirements documents, text files, diagrams, whatever, that needs to be managed somehow.

          What's the normal way of dealing w
        • However, I still don't understand why people object to images.

          Images and $5000 per seat licenses are two reasons Smalltalk nearly died in the early 90s.