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[Serious messages]

Tony Morris

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There is no serious message here...

...except for perhaps an examination on why Yegge insists on offering
comment on topics of which he not even the most fundamental
understanding. Let's be clear; he has not even the most basic
understanding of many of the relevant topics. I could list them and
that man would be completely baffled. In fact, I have done exactly
that before.

It is demonstrable by historical commentary, which has remained
immutable to this day. Further, Yegge gives this all away accidentally
and unknowingly. Please do not take this man seriously. *Please*, for
your sake.

I use Haskell almost all day. I work for a Java product company. There
is a reason I use Haskell all day and it has something to do with
productivity. Recently, myself and a colleague had to write a program
for our Java programmers, so I wrote it in Scala and told them it was
Java bytecode with a really great editor that has a special save
function called scalac. I use many languages when this "Java"
requirement doesn't come up, including Haskell. Think about this. Please.

I didn't intend to hijack this thread with this topic and I really do
not like attacking people, but if you're going to spread a "serious
message", then please do not refer to such catastrophic departure from
reality on behalf of that clueless man. He is not to be taken
seriously, so I will accept your introductory apology, even if out of
context.

I'm more interested in an actual serious message than any foreseeable
debate on the contentious issues that I may have raised. I hope the
risk works out...

On 24/12/10 07:58, Kevin Wright wrote:

>
> I'm truly sorry, but if I didn't do this then someone else would.
>
> http://steve-yegge.blogspot.com/2010/12/haskell-researchers-announce-discovery.html
>
> There's actually a serious message here. However efficient haskell
> may be, is it really good enough to allow us to rewrite literally
> centuries of cumulative work, overnight, that's already in
> production? If not, then we'll continue to need to work with
> existing systems, and this kind of interop is essential.
>
> By all means, we should evolve the languages and tools that we work
> with, but to just abandon what has gone before is the worst kind of
> disrespect...
>


- --
Tony Morris
http://tmorris.net/

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Re: [Serious messages]

Donna Malayeri
Agreed, Tony. His post wasn't even amusing, which would have been its only redeeming quality. (And I'm not particularly invested in Haskell, given that I've never written a single line of code in the language.)

Perhaps one could generously attribute a serious message to the long, unfunny rant, and that would probably be: Haskell is scary to many programmers. This is not a problem faced by Haskell alone, by any means, but has been helped along by the long tradition of programming being taught as the mere fact of learning C or C++ and later Java (yes, what a leap forward). The comments at the end of the article, all extolling the wit and virtues of the esteemed pundit, just underscore this fact: sadly, most professional programmers are extremely undereducated when it comes to the matter of programming languages (well, that, and software engineering, too, but that's a different argument entirely.)

Incidentally, afaik Haskell doesn't have a good a story for interop as do Scala or F# (please correct me if I'm wrong), but, say, Perl doesn't have great cross-language interop either!  But I don't see much criticism regarding interop in that silly blog post, so if that was his point, he didn't make it very clearly.

At any rate, I make the (bold) claim that the main reason that a particular language is or is not used is a business--rather than a technical--matter. Managers at a big software company are less likely to take the bold risks of startups and smaller companies. I gave a guest lecture on this for an undergraduate software engineering course at CMU; slides are up at http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~donna/public/language-and-SE.pdf (see pdf page 8 onward).

I think there is certainly room for an interesting debate here, though it would be ironic if that blog post were the instigating factor.

Donna

On Fri, Dec 24, 2010 at 12:30 AM, Tony Morris <[hidden email]> wrote:

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There is no serious message here...

...except for perhaps an examination on why Yegge insists on offering
comment on topics of which he not even the most fundamental
understanding. Let's be clear; he has not even the most basic
understanding of many of the relevant topics. I could list them and
that man would be completely baffled. In fact, I have done exactly
that before.

It is demonstrable by historical commentary, which has remained
immutable to this day. Further, Yegge gives this all away accidentally
and unknowingly. Please do not take this man seriously. *Please*, for
your sake.

I use Haskell almost all day. I work for a Java product company. There
is a reason I use Haskell all day and it has something to do with
productivity. Recently, myself and a colleague had to write a program
for our Java programmers, so I wrote it in Scala and told them it was
Java bytecode with a really great editor that has a special save
function called scalac. I use many languages when this "Java"
requirement doesn't come up, including Haskell. Think about this. Please.

I didn't intend to hijack this thread with this topic and I really do
not like attacking people, but if you're going to spread a "serious
message", then please do not refer to such catastrophic departure from
reality on behalf of that clueless man. He is not to be taken
seriously, so I will accept your introductory apology, even if out of
context.

I'm more interested in an actual serious message than any foreseeable
debate on the contentious issues that I may have raised. I hope the
risk works out...

On 24/12/10 07:58, Kevin Wright wrote:
>
> I'm truly sorry, but if I didn't do this then someone else would.
>
> http://steve-yegge.blogspot.com/2010/12/haskell-researchers-announce-discovery.html
>
> There's actually a serious message here. However efficient haskell
> may be, is it really good enough to allow us to rewrite literally
> centuries of cumulative work, overnight, that's already in
> production? If not, then we'll continue to need to work with
> existing systems, and this kind of interop is essential.
>
> By all means, we should evolve the languages and tools that we work
> with, but to just abandon what has gone before is the worst kind of
> disrespect...
>


- --
Tony Morris
http://tmorris.net/

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Re: [Serious messages]

Tony Morris

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On 24/12/10 10:43, Donna Malayeri wrote:
> Agreed, Tony. His post wasn't even amusing, which would have been
> its only redeeming quality. (And I'm not particularly invested in
> Haskell, given that I've never written a single line of code in
> the language.)


Thank you for reassuring/reminding me of the existence of independent
thinkers out there :)

>
> Perhaps one could generously attribute a serious message to the
> long, unfunny rant, and that would probably be: Haskell is scary
> to many programmers. This is not a problem faced by Haskell alone,
> by any means, but has been helped along by the long tradition of
> programming being taught as the mere fact of learning C or C++ and
> later Java (yes, what a leap forward). The comments at the end of
> the article, all extolling the wit and virtues of the esteemed
> pundit, just underscore this fact: sadly, most professional
> programmers are extremely undereducated when it comes to the
> matter of programming languages (well, that, and software
> engineering, too, but that's a different argument entirely.)
>
> Incidentally, afaik Haskell doesn't have a good a story for
> interop as do Scala or F# (please correct me if I'm wrong),


You are exactly right.

> but, say, Perl doesn't have great cross-language interop either!
> But I don't see much criticism regarding interop in that silly blog
> post, so if that was his point, he didn't make it very clearly.
>
> At any rate, I make the (bold) claim that the main reason that a
> particular language is or is not used is a business--rather than a
> technical--matter. Managers at a big software company are less
> likely to take the bold risks of startups and smaller companies. I
> gave a guest lecture on this for an undergraduate software
> engineering course at CMU; slides are up at
> http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~donna/public/language-and-SE.pdf
> <http://www.cs.cmu.edu/%7Edonna/public/language-and-SE.pdf> (see
> pdf page 8 onward).


My pessimism leads to even stronger conclusions regarding ineptitude.
After all, how on earth is a person who has *absolutely no clue* (and
I mean this in contrast to say, a beginner who has a bit of a clue)
able to so catastrophically mislead (comical intent aside, although
like you, I also didn't find it funny) many others who also have no
clue in such a way? The ineptitude continues. I am appealing for a
stop to this cycle.

>
> I think there is certainly room for an interesting debate here,
> though it would be ironic if that blog post were the instigating
> factor.


Yes, this is my appeal. *Interesting* (or *serious*) debate. These
adjectives are extremely important, at least to me.

Thanks for the response :)

>
> Donna
>
> On Fri, Dec 24, 2010 at 12:30 AM, Tony Morris
> <[hidden email] [hidden email]> wrote:
>
>
> There is no serious message here...
>
> ...except for perhaps an examination on why Yegge insists on
> offering comment on topics of which he not even the most
> fundamental understanding. Let's be clear; he has not even the most
> basic understanding of many of the relevant topics. I could list
> them and that man would be completely baffled. In fact, I have done
> exactly that before.
>
> It is demonstrable by historical commentary, which has remained
> immutable to this day. Further, Yegge gives this all away
> accidentally and unknowingly. Please do not take this man
> seriously. *Please*, for your sake.
>
> I use Haskell almost all day. I work for a Java product company.
> There is a reason I use Haskell all day and it has something to do
> with productivity. Recently, myself and a colleague had to write a
> program for our Java programmers, so I wrote it in Scala and told
> them it was Java bytecode with a really great editor that has a
> special save function called scalac. I use many languages when this
> "Java" requirement doesn't come up, including Haskell. Think about
> this. Please.
>
> I didn't intend to hijack this thread with this topic and I really
> do not like attacking people, but if you're going to spread a
> "serious message", then please do not refer to such catastrophic
> departure from reality on behalf of that clueless man. He is not to
> be taken seriously, so I will accept your introductory apology,
> even if out of context.
>
> I'm more interested in an actual serious message than any
> foreseeable debate on the contentious issues that I may have
> raised. I hope the risk works out...
>
> On 24/12/10 07:58, Kevin Wright wrote:
>
>> I'm truly sorry, but if I didn't do this then someone else
>> would.
>
>
> http://steve-yegge.blogspot.com/2010/12/haskell-researchers-announce-discovery.html
>
>
> There's actually a serious message here. However efficient
> haskell
>> may be, is it really good enough to allow us to rewrite
>> literally centuries of cumulative work, overnight, that's already
>> in production? If not, then we'll continue to need to work with
>> existing systems, and this kind of interop is essential.
>
>> By all means, we should evolve the languages and tools that we
> work
>> with, but to just abandon what has gone before is the worst
> kind of
>> disrespect...
>
>
>


- --
Tony Morris
http://tmorris.net/

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Re: [Serious messages]

Warren Henning
In reply to this post by Tony Morris
Dude, you totally got trolled.

I thought the post was unfunny and stupid, of course.

On Thu, Dec 23, 2010 at 3:30 PM, Tony Morris <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
> Hash: SHA1
>
> There is no serious message here...
>
> ...except for perhaps an examination on why Yegge insists on offering
> comment on topics of which he not even the most fundamental
> understanding. Let's be clear; he has not even the most basic
> understanding of many of the relevant topics. I could list them and
> that man would be completely baffled. In fact, I have done exactly
> that before.
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Re: [Serious messages]

Tony Morris

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On 24/12/10 10:53, Warren Henning wrote:
> Dude, you totally got trolled.
Not exactly. A clueless person uttered words in such a way as to
display the magnificence of that cluelessness in an attempt to be
comical (which imo was also a failure). That person is renowned for
these displays. Alone, I offer no response.

Then, a person took this seriously. The latter is concerning, the
former is not. I am now compelled to respond.

- --
Tony Morris
http://tmorris.net/

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Re: [Serious messages]

Erik Engbrecht
In reply to this post by Donna Malayeri
At any rate, I make the (bold) claim that the main reason that a particular language is or is not used is a business--rather than a technical--matter. Managers at a big software company are less likely to take the bold risks of startups and smaller companies.

I think it's more nuanced than that.  There are managers and technical leaders who are primarily focused on solving the problems at hand, particularly the hardest problems at hand, as quickly as possible and with a narrow; and you have those who are primarily focused on avoiding future problems and tend to heavily consider the "organizational context" of their decisions.

Startups generally only have the former, because they have to focus on the here-and-now in order to survive and they aren't big enough for "organizational context" to be overly relevant beyond "get the product out the door before we can no longer afford to eat."

Large organizations tend to have both types of people, with the latter being more common - or at least more obvious - than the former.

I work is for a very large company, and I've been both enthusiastically complimented and accused of risking the very foundations of the company for the exact same work.  It just depends on the person's temperament, and it goes well beyond selection of programming languages and other tools.


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Re: [Serious messages]

Russ P.
In reply to this post by Tony Morris
I thought the article was pretty funny -- but that does not mean I share the author's viewpoint on Haskell.

Just for kicks, I read another of the author's articles, his July 2010 article on Java "private/final" modifiers. It was funny too, even though I disagree completely with the premise of the article. I think this guy just enjoys pushing people's buttons.

In the past, I have had online debates on comp.lang.python about "private/protected" modifiers. Python has no such thing, of course. I suggested that perhaps something like them should be added to the language if doing so is technically feasible. Many python enthusiasts were completely against it and claimed that "private" and "protected" are completely useless -- clients should be "treated as adults." I tried to explain that "private" and "protected" provide useful information to the client (through the compiler) about what is supposed to be in the public interface and what is not. I also pointed out that, if you have the source code (as you do with nearly all Python software), then you essentially have a master key and can remove any "private" or "protected" modifier that is getting in your way. Most of them would hear none of it. They just resent being told what they can use and what that can't. Oh, well.

I don't use Python much any more.

Russ P.


On Thu, Dec 23, 2010 at 5:12 PM, Tony Morris <[hidden email]> wrote:

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On 24/12/10 10:53, Warren Henning wrote:
> Dude, you totally got trolled.
Not exactly. A clueless person uttered words in such a way as to
display the magnificence of that cluelessness in an attempt to be
comical (which imo was also a failure). That person is renowned for
these displays. Alone, I offer no response.

Then, a person took this seriously. The latter is concerning, the
former is not. I am now compelled to respond.

- --
Tony Morris
http://tmorris.net/

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