Thursday, September 27, 2007

Tired of the Fighting

Lately, I've been reading a lot of blogs. There's such an amazing wealth of really smart people out there with interesting opinions. But, then there's everyone else. I'm getting really tired of the mudslinging about languages, methodologies, and frameworks.


I can't count the number of Ruby vs. Java[1] stuff I've read in the last 48 hours. Granted, it's an interesting discussion, but definitely not the end all, be all debate our industry is seeing. More to the point, the amount of misinformation and TL;DR is astounding. Is it true that, for some people, sounding smart is more important than being smart? That makes me sad.

I have a hard time imagining how one can get so entrenched in something as to think there's nothing beyond the walls that box them in. I can only liken it to what it must be like to have some kind of profound spiritual experience[2]; it was so life altering, you forget where you came from so quickly, the experience doesn't mean anything anymore - it's so drastic, you are no longer what you were before.

Let's face it; there will be countless languages, frameworks, platforms, and methodologies that will come and go during our careers. We should be so lucky! Why on Earth would you shut yourself off from something to such a degree?

Ideally, we all take the requisite time to evaluate everything prior to passing judgement. I'm sure we aren't all so pure of heart, mind, and principal. There are so many things we don't like about the things we see. They're easy to point out, too. That said, I have never met anyone who had nothing left to learn (even if they wouldn't agree). There is something good about 99.9999% of the things under heated debate. The things that aren't debated are usually not because everyone agrees they're great or they're terrible.

I'll settle it (to my own satisfaction) for you. The following is for comedic value.

  • Ruby needs more IDE support
  • Java documentation is rather opaque at times
  • Ruby's syntax is inconsistent, at times
  • Java doesn't let programmers express themselves like the true artists they are
  • Ruby doesn't have as much commercial backing and support
  • Java has been molested by commercial backing and support
  • Ruby-ists can, at times, be arrogant, claiming to have invented some ideas that have been around for a long time
  • Java-ists can, at times, be arrogant, claiming every other language to be toy
  • Ruby is slow
  • Java is a memory hog

Are you getting the point? Hint: If you caught yourself saying but wait... Eclipse has Ruby support now or but wait... Java has an excellent community you need to start from the beginning. Go ahead. I'll wait...

Good. Feel better?

If you write Java for a living, go (yes right now) to this site and find something interesting. If you write Ruby for a living, go read up on all the neat stuff you can do in Hibernate.

So there you have it. Now don't make me reach back there. You don't want me to stop this car.

...and if I hear one more thing about how you're an idiot if you do / don't use git / subversion / svk, I will find you and force you to go back to using RCS[3]. Try me.

[1] - At my day job, I write neither Java nor Ruby. I like both for different reasons. I have no real stake in this debate.

[2] - I'm not trying to disparage those that are spiritual or those that have had any kind of spiritual awakening. If you're upset by this, you're reading too deeply.

[3] - If you actually like using RCS for source code control, I'm more than happy to have offended you by this.

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