Friday, April 28, 2006


Language Envy

t is been almost 9 years now that I have been professionally working with Java. It is even longer if you count the time before when I did it as a hobby when I first started using OS/2 Warp 4 which was one of the first OS's to come with Java out of the box. Of course I have used other languages in that time but Java has almost always been my primary language as long as I have been a professional programmer. But I find myself envious of other languages/platforms from time to time. Even though I may want to change, it doesn't really doesn't make much business sense at my company. Here are few languages I often think of that give that “grass is greener over there feeling”:

C/C++: I miss being so close to the hardware sometimes and have a close relationship with the machine. I even enjoy working with pointers. But the problem is that with what I do I would have to reinvent a lot of wheels that Java already has.

Ruby: The way Ruby does things is just a breath of fresh air compared to Java. Java was just meant to be a better C/C++ which is pretty much means it is general purpose language. That means it is difficult to do tasks quick and easy. But as of today, Ruby isn't as good as Java to glue various systems together. But Ruby on Rails show signs in the right direction.

C#: I did a small few month project in .NET a while back using C#. If you like Java then you'll like C#. It was fun for me but it really isn't different enough from Java. Some parts in .NET are better than what the Java platform has but some aren't. But for the most part it is Java with a slightly different philosophy. I really only have one complaint, it is tied to a OS that isn't my favorite. (Don't give that stuff about Mono, it doesn't make much business sense)

Perl: I always enjoyed Perl. It is hard to explain, it more about the feel of Perl that I like.

TRS-80 BASIC: This is what I first learned to program with. OK I don't envy anything about it, just thought I would throw it on the list anyway. When I went to school and learned Pascal I remember being amazed at how there were no line numbers! Things sure have changed since then haven't they?

The best time I ever had coding was using ASM-One and Trash'M-One on Amiga, hands down, no questions asked.

Superior two-pass, direct assembler (no linking needed!), simply fenomenal debugger, and very, very good source code editor -- simply a fenomenal IDE overall. And the MC680xx assembler is an elegance noone has been able to achieve since.

Today, if I do code, it's mostly in (n)awk and various shells (C and Bourne family).

Quite a departure from coding intros on Amiga, huh? Times sure have changed, oh my!
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