Tour de Babel - revisited

June 27, 2017

The first time I read Steve Yegge’s post - “Tour de Babel” - was more than 2 years ago, and wrote a blog post about it.

Two things that stuck with me back then:

I needed to start using Emacs, and I did.

I was right for having Ruby as my favourite programming language. I think I still like Ruby now, although not as much as I used to.

Three things that stuck with me now:

“I sucked, and I still do, although hopefully less every year”.

Emacs is here to stay and remains as productive as ever.

and 3: Start questioning what I think I know about programming:

How much is from my experience?

How much are from others’ opinions?

How much are hypes and fallacies?

In 2004, Steve wrote this:

The problem with Java is that people are blinded by the marketing hype. That’s the problem with C++, with Perl, with any language that’s popular, and it’s a serious one, because languages can’t become popular without hype. So if the language designer suggests innocently that the language might not have been designed perfectly, it’s time to shoot the language designer full of horse tranquilizers and shut down the conference.

Languages need hype to survive; I just wish people didn’t have to be blinded by it.

This is still very much relevant today.