[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Java GOOD -- Fire BAD

> Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2003 18:08:37 -0400
> From: Adam Turoff <ziggy@panix.com>
> On Wed, Aug 20, 2003 at 03:34:57PM -0400, Perry E. Metzger wrote:
> > "Joe Marshall" <jrm@ccs.neu.edu> writes:
> > > I've used Lisp on the job for years.
> > > Any idiot supervisor who does not let his programmers use
> > > the appropriate tools for the job deserves *exactly* the calibre
> > > of programmers he will get.
> > 
> > I prefer to think of it the way Paul Graham does: if you use lisp, you
> > have a competitive advantage. Smart bosses will let you do it and the
> > stupid ones will fail to survive in the long run, or at least will get
> > fewer resources to play with.
> That's not a fair characterization.
> I talked to a manager at a very open source friendly startup recently.
> They're hip to the whole Perl/Python/Ruby/whatever, and letting smart 
> programmers loose to solve do interesting things quickly.
> However, he would only use Perl/Lisp/etc. programmers on a project when
> he could meet a few preconditions: finding enough of them, and keeping
> them around.  If he couldn't get his three or four heavy lifters, he'd be
> quite happy hiring a dozen Java programmers to take their place.  They
> won't be as productive, it'll cost more, but at least they can't do as
> much damage and they're easily replaced when they get bored and leave.
> Java is popular because it is reduces risk.  Not every app is a sexy
> or interesting idea like Viaweb or Orbitz.  Many apps are written not
> because they're cool, but because they're necessary.  Why drive your
> star programmers away with tedious projects?  Use them on the really
> interesting projects, where they thrive and really deliver.
> Start using Java for your sexy and innovative apps, and Graham's law 
> kicks in.  :-)
> Z.

Another point is that the libraries available for java are much more
comprehensive than anything I've seen in lisp.  In fact, the gap is so big
that I sometimes wonder if this is an argument for java-style OO (i.e. that
it is a good framework in which to create reusable libraries).  That said,
I would be very happy to see a lisp or scheme environment with libraries
that rival java or even python (I think PLT scheme is well on the way to
this goal).  I'd rather write code in lisp than in java for most tasks, but
I'd rather use a pre-written library in java than have to re-implement the
same code in lisp.