Thursday, June 11, 2015

what is code?

Paul Ford on a whirlwind from start to finish What Is Code

Had some nice bon mots:
"Code is inert. How do you make it ert? You run software that transforms it into machine language."
Some parts hit home:
Programmers carve out a sliver of cognitive territory for themselves and go to conferences, and yet they know their position is vulnerable. They get defensive when they hear someone suggest that Python is better than Ruby, because [insert 500-comment message thread here]. Is the next great wave swelling somewhere, and will it wash away Java when it comes? Will Go conquer Python? Do I need to learn JavaScript to remain profitable? Programmers are often angry because they’re often scared. We are, most of us, stumbling around with only a few candles to guide the way. We can’t always see the whole system, so we need to puzzle it out, bit by bit, in the dark.
I was interested on his view on frameworks, he kind of argues both sides, con-:
So what’s the downside? Well, frameworks lock you into a way of thinking. You can look at a website and, with a trained eye, go, “Oh, that’s a Ruby on Rails site.”
Frameworks have an obvious influence on the kind of work developers can do. Some people feel that frameworks make things too easy and that they become a crutch. It’s pretty easy to code yourself into a hole, to find yourself trying to force the framework to do something it doesn’t want to.
but then pro:
Frameworks can feel a little insulting, because they anticipate your problems and are used by thousands of people. They imply that yours are common, everyday problems, rather than special, amazing mysteries that require a true genius to solve.
Good stuff. 

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