For fans of computing history, Ward Cunningham is a very interesting dude
and the creator of wikis.
DDJ has an interview:
language we've been looking at.
Near the end you'll find this .. coffeescript, ruby, perl, smalltalk,
node.js and more!
Current Programming Environment
*DDJ:* Tell me a little about your programming environment. What tools do
you use for your day-to-day work and what languages are you programming in?
*Cunningham:* You know, I try not to get bound too much to anything in
*Cunningham:* I'll tell you right now what I'm using and I'm enjoying is I
write CoffeeScript, and TextMate, although I'm trying to learn Sublime Text
2, which I guess is the hot new editor. So, I switch back and forth between
both of those. And it's been really nice. And of course, I love it because
with one keystroke I can see the results of what I've written. I can select
a paragraph and say, "run just this part." So it has this feel, that it's
not very far from the engine. Of course, what engine is that? Well, there's
node.js running right behind that, so I'm pounding things into node.js
without hardly thinking about it.
I looked at it and I said, 'Who would have thought of making a language
like that?' That's when I realized that open source was here to stay. There
is no commercial endeavor that ever would have invented Perl.
In CoffeeScript, it feels very nice for me for doing the kind of things I'm
doing now, which is programming event-driven stuff that's deeply nested,
and it does that well. I will admit that I was a Smalltalk zealot, and I
believed that Smalltalk could be the only language, and I knew about a
dozen reasons why, and one of them was that once everybody programmed in
Smalltalk, we would all communicate with objects. But that didn't happen.
And the day that I gave up on that vision, I said, "You know what, we're
all going to communicate with text files. We're all going to go ripping
through these text files plundering them for whatever information we can
infer from it."
That's when I picked up Perl. And it shocked me, just how well it worked
for finding and plundering files because it had those reg exes built in and
stuff like that. And it was so fast. It was fast to compile, it was fast to
develop, it was fast to run. I could not believe it was so fast. And I know
people like to complain about it, but I also thought it showed a tremendous
amount of insight. It was insight, and I looked at it and I said, "Who
would have thought of making a language like that?" That's when I realized
that open source was here to stay. There is no commercial endeavor that
ever would have invented Perl.
But Perl was my escape from object-oriented programming, and I still use it
today. Probably a day doesn't go by that I don't just pick up Perl right at
the command line just because idiomatically I can write commands. I know
there's a command in UNIX but rather than go the command page and try to
remember the options, I just write it from scratch in Perl. You know, I go
on and finish the line. I know Perl well enough that I can do that. I think
if you write big programs you know stuff that I never bothered to learn
And of course Ruby has Perl as its father and Smalltalk as its mother, and
so Ruby feels pretty good to me too. So those are the ones I like the most.
And I've got a Macbook Air here, which is a pretty nice computer,
especially if you commute by bicycle, it's not very heavy. I haven't
bothered to update to Lion yet.