Great Hackers


I've taken more notes both wednesday and today thursday but I'm way behind on putting them into MT. Maybe I should just write directly into the MT interface instead of taking notes in text files. Or use Blosxom and just publish text files.

Anyway, Paul Graham put up an article derived from his keynote talk yesterday: Great Hackers. I haven't read it yet, but I really enjoyed the talk.

If you are managing or hiring geeks, you should read it. :-)


Fools and knaves! Yar!

I wish I could summarize my critique with a simple and brusque 'nonsense!' - it would really save my wrists! - but unfortunately Graham mixed in many good points with the bad.

I agree that the 3 big things that affect hacker happiness are: quality of the problem, the quality of the infrastructure, and association with other good hackers. But Graham starts spouting nonsense when it comes to specifics of the infrastructure.

What rankles the most is that Graham once again shows the narrow-mindedness and provincialism native to the Perl community by making thinly veiled attacks against Java and it's community (of which I am happily a part). In other words, he is trying to make an argument that there is a 'best' infrastructure that attracts hackers, and it's Perl. That's just ridiculous.

Consider this singular data point: gaming. No one would argue that there's lots of hacker talent in the gaming world, and for some programmers, a gaming position (especially writing physics and rendering engines) are sweet problems. This sort of work is NEVER done in Perl - it's almost always done in C/C++.

As for Java, well, something that it seems Perl afficianados find hard to swallow is that Java has a different flavor from Perl. It is a slightly lower level language with a much more orthogonal syntax. Good Java programs are constructed like Legos from components that have shiny, hard outer casings that can withstand a lot of pounding and stress. Perl software, even good Perl software, on the other hand, is like an amorphous sponge that expects users of the component to understand the internal implementation of the component, and to modify the component as a matter of course.

Both flavors have weakness and strengths. With Java, if those 'hard' components are designed poorly, it's difficult (although not entirely unpleasent) to refactor them into something better. Stripping away the outer shell to see what's underneath can also be annoying. With Perl, the same issues of poor design are present, and I would argue that they are omnipresent given the wider range of non-orthogonal syntax and an often overly exhuberant community of untalented software contributors. Perhaps the biggest benefit of Perl is that source is *always* available - with Java OSS, you often have to make another download, unzip, inspect, etc. (CPAN for Java would help, but it doesn't exist!)

Both language flavors can be appealing to hackers. It is purely a matter of hacker aesthetics. I'm not a hacker by any means, but I've been exposed to bother languages enough to be constantly suprised by the profligate cheekiness of Java detractors in the Perl community.

I have always had my foot in the two camps as well allthough I'm pretty fulltime in Java right now. The article was spot on on most accounts. I wrote a longer response (see the link).

The Java community has gone nuts though because of the language PG used. And I really think most of the people responding to it didn't read the full article. The main error PG maks is assuming that the Java world is where it was 4 years ago. So much has changed. The new generation of IDE's have changed everything including a flood of interesting OSS projects, despite Sun's attempts to make it all corporate and boring.


What link, Pelle?

Josh, games might usully be written in a lovely mix of assembly, C and C++, but usually there are a lot of tools involved in writing games.

Tool-writing is great fun, and Perl excels here.

i have 2 pc,my big bro have given administrator password,how to get in, please help me
i will be thankful to you

In my wireless network I can connect two netowrks but I couldn't see any PCs in the network. I made my IP address as Automatic but still the same.
How can I seek the IP addresses on the network and get into the network

Note : the two networks are not secured

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Ask Bjørn Hansen published on July 29, 2004 2:54 PM.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID
Powered by Movable Type 4.33-en
/* bf */