Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Deeply Nerdified

I've been browsing some recent publications on C# 4 and some of the new asynchronous thread features, PowerShell 2 cmdlet tutorials, as well as some of the MVC features in ASP.NET 2010.  And let's not forget LINQ either.  The more I look at "newer" language constructs the more I'm hating them.  Maybe it's my curmudgeon self getting in the way of recognizing something inherently "good".  Maybe.  And maybe I'm Elvis.

I hate to pick on any language, because, well, let's face it: I'm simply not qualified to shit on anyone's plate.  Especially what those folks are PhD's and I'm not even mopping those floors in the grand scheme of institutionalized wonder.  But LINQ bothers me in that (a) there's nothing inately wrong with SQL or T-SQL, and (b) bending one language to make non-SQL coders happy makes me want to stroll over to their cube, tear down their Star Trek poster and pour a Mountain Dew on their head.

I miss LISP.  However, I'm sure that LISP does not miss me.  To be more accurate, I miss CommonLISP and Visual LISP (a derivative subset bundled within Autodesk's AutoCAD-based product lines).  I like a lot of aspects of XML and XSLT, even though the entire transform methodology seems overly complicated to me.  I feel that PhD masterminds could've concocted something a lot more simple, direct, and operationally efficient from a code development angle.  And maybe pigs will fly out of my butt also.

But the fluidity of VLISP is just amazing to work with.  When I see someone state that Javascript is a "dynamic language" I almost puke my breakfast from two days ago right on the screen.  When I hear someone claim ASP.NET (ok ok ok, shut up: VB.NET, C#.NET, etc. etc.) are "dynamic languages" I want to make someone else throw up as well.  Come to think of it, I already do that just fine.  Moving on…

Declarative languages are inherently NOT dynamic.  Ok, technically they can be, using the Webster's definition of the word.  But even then, it depends on what aspect of using a language you are applying the adjective to before it really sticks.  Then again, it's 2010 and this appears to be the age of throwing words around like grass seed on a Spring lawn.  Few bother looking at what they're throwing.

I'm more interested in languages which can best be described as amorphous.  And LISP is (or was) the closest thing I've seen to hitting that mark.  I don't want a language that defines what I do.  I want a language that lets me define what I'm doing.  Beyond that it has to be pervasive, both in terms of scale and reach, as well as ubiquity.  LISP failed horribly on the ubiquity part.  Too many egos standing guard over the rights to let it roam in the fields and pick flowers.  It belongs in the open fields.  Maybe it's time for someone at MIT or CMU to dust it off and give a fresh coat of paint and let it out of the stable.

Eh.  Like I usually say: blah blah blah.  I'll do something serious when I win the lottery.  I don't need the bong. I'm high on life.  Now, ask yourself this one question: Did any of this crap make sense to you?

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