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Re: What design is: 911 vs. Fleetwood

Dan Sugalski wrote:
> Or that they make the right decisions regarding language choice. I know a
> lot of people who would quit a job rather than program in COBOL or Fortran,

What's wrong with quitting rather than doing something that's no fun?

> even though for many tasks those languages are by far the most appropriate
> for the task.

I think you've set up a false dichotomy. It isn't as if the only
language choices are crappy committee languages designed for managers
and hacky, unsafe, cool languages. What about safe, cool languages like
SML, Eiffel etc.? Even Java is fairly safe if you look at its type
system, use of pointers and exception handling. COBOL isn't the only
language with currency-friendly data types.

I don't think that hackers should be ashamed of demanding excellent
languages! Yes, there are circumstances where it makes business sense to
use the language that is already installed, or easy to find programmers
for, or whatever. But you seem to argue that "established" languages
must be the right choice for problem X just because they are the default
choice for problem X. I can't believe that nobody has come up with a
better COBOL than COBOL or a better FORTRAN than FORTRAN.

 Paul Prescod