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languages (was: Re: ``Shut-up and Hack!")

From: olafBuddenhagen
Subject: languages (was: Re: ``Shut-up and Hack!")
Date: Sun, 13 Aug 2006 18:12:17 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.12-2006-07-14


On Sat, Aug 12, 2006 at 06:53:26PM -0400, Luis Araujo wrote:

> As a sidenote, briefly referring to John Ousterhout , when he talks
> about scripting programming:
> "They give up execution speed and strength of typing relative to
> system programming languages but provide significantly higher
> programmer productivity and software reuse."

I don't buy the productivity arguement in general. Sure, this is very
important in areas where you have to come up with code as fast as
possible, like prototyping and scripts. And in these areas, higher-level
languages are very popular indeed.

When it comes to more serious programming however, you spend *lots* more
time thinking about functionality/interfaces, program structure,
algorithms, than with actual coding.

When I'm working on larger applications, the time I spend actually
writing code (and debugging C-specific problems) is just a few per cent
of the total time I spend on it. I doubt in such a situation the small
gain from using a different language would even justify the time needed
to learn it...

In many areas, the possible productivity gains just don't outweigh the
higher entry costs and other disadvantages -- and I'm pretty certain OS
implementation (not prototyping) is one of them.


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