I just dove into a small project that I decided could best be done using a set of C++ classes, and I’m beginning to think that I’m an idiot for trusting the language again. After several years of vanilla C and C#, and not much else in between except the occasional Perl hack, I’d forgotten what it was like to tread water in Bjarne’s fits-all boots.
Writing in C++ again is like making biscuits. But the simple baking procedure is preceded by growing the wheat, which entails clearing the farmland, digging a well, defending it against the native hordes, establishing irrigation and a working agrarian economy, buying a bunch of fertilizer, plowing the field behind a great big smelly ox, planting the seeds, waiting all winter while the wolves howl outside your cabin, THEN (buried amongst all the templatified, exception-safe and const-driven madness) writing a kernel of meaningful code. Wait, what was I doing? Building a tectonically secure infrastructure for feeding billions of people, or just making biscuits for breakfast? It’s hard to remember after all that epic bullshit.
God, it almost makes me want to write in Java again.
I looked at Erlang for a while. I think that Armstrong’s book on it is one of the best language tutorials since K-and-R, but unfortunately I had no real /need/ for Erlang. As soon as I find a worthy project I’ll probably use it.
I’m having fun with Python. I wish I’d listened to my friend Munch, who years ago said it was all he could stand. It has a charm to it, the same charm I had while hacking on some Windows Phone apps, when it was 1979 again and I was banging away on some BASIC that drew games on the screen. There’s a lot to be said for instant turnaround. My rule of thumb is that a build time over about ten minutes means that you’re dying by inches. Three seconds is about right.
We shouldn’t forget that this stuff is supposed to be fun.