Thursday, September 25, 2003

Java as SUV

Via Don
Box's Spoutlet
, I read about Philip Greenspun’s take on how
Java is the SUV of Programming Tools
. I find it interesting for a number of reasons:

1)      I’ve
taught short courses at about 15 universities around the country, including MIT. There
was a huge range of general competence amongst the undergrads I encountered. MIT had
the best students I ran into, although Stanford and one or two others were also excellent.
To hear Philip saying that the MIT students had a hard time with a technology does
not bode well for its general applicability at other schools. You may want to take
that with a grain of salt coming from me, though, because:

2)      I
went to MIT. :)

3)      From
the outside (of Java), Java looks almost exactly like C#/.NET to me – someone
pointing out differences in productivity is a bit surprising.

4)      This
is far from the first time I’ve heard someone describe LISP as an advanced language.
Given that I’ve been doing a bit of Emacs hacking lately, I might have to move
really learning LISP well up on my TODO list.


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