Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Programming Languages

People who know me will be aware that I've been exploring the suitability of various programming languages for some software that I want to work on. Abetted by my ADHD/Aspie brain, this has been a bit like Alice falling down the rabbit hole into a world of weirdness. As the weeks go by, my collection of potential languages has grown much faster than my ability to do any of the evaluation that I was planning.

For the record, the list now consists of x86 Assembly Language, C, Python, Lua, Scheme/Racket, Common Lisp, Clojure, Erlang, Haskell and Javascript (in no particular order). And, if Clojure is involved, that would also mean learning Java—something I have assiduously avoided for the last 15 years. The more I add to this crazy pile, the more sure I am that I must be missing the perfect answer, even though the sane bits of my mind know that there is no perfect answer. Of course, the longer I amuse myself in this pseudo-analysis, the longer I am safe from having to put any work in on any of the real projects on my list.

It would be nice to be able to say that this insight has freed me from analysis paralysis and that I'm just going to start on something. After all, I am good at telling other people that any decision is better than no decision and that even a wrong decision can be easily fixed once it's clear that it was wrong. I'm less capable of listening to my own good advice. However, it has occurred to me that I could just decide on one step right here and now. So, for no reason other than that it's the language I know least about, I'm going to do some work with Clojure over the next week or two to see if it's a real candidate or not. The others can wait.


  1. Ruby is unusual in that I _like_ programming in it. Maybe Matz's breed of logic will suit your way of thinking?

    Ways of thinking can be fascinating. I'm a visuo-spatial/visuo-temporal learner, but one thing I've discovered in a massage course is that someime if I close my eyes & _feel_ what I'm doing, I understand more of it...

  2. Not sure what kind of learner I am, but I do know that I have looked at Ruby and found it hard to like. Obviously, plenty of smart people find it an excellent tool and do good work with it. But for now, I'll pass.


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