The Dilemma of Programming Languages

So, I’ve been up and laptop-ing for the last two hours or so, and all I’ve been doing is reading one article after another centered on programming languages. A good fraction of those articles lashed on how Javascript sucks. It’s been a lot of continuous reading, all thanks to catchy links located throughout the articles, and at any given time there have been at least 7 tabs (with articles) open at all times. Even as of now, there are exactly seven other tabs, besides Facebook, open in my browser.

It all started when I, scrolling through my news feed, out of sheer boredom, landed on a post by Richard Eng, an evangelist for SmallTalk whom I first came across on Quora, and while reading, I clicked on some other links and opened them in new tabs, and then the process repeated itself. The more I read, the clearer became Eng’s views on the different languages. It was clear that he hates JavaScript, and just the first part of this post by him shows that he definitely has a point.

While going through his list of his JavaScript alternatives, which are all basically Transpilers, I also discovered Brython, which is basically Python running in JavaScript’s place as the client-side scripting language. It’s pretty cool actually, although apparently the code is transpiled from Python to JS during runtime and that’s gotta take a toll on the performance.

Also, like countless other people, Mr. Smalltalk was kind enough to tell us that PHP is one of the three languages he can’t stand. While I agree that JS deserves to be on that list, my love for and comfort with PHP is too strong. It hurts when people constantly tell me that PHP sucks, and that it shouldn’t be used on any serious projects. Maybe they are right, maybe they aren’t, but I do believe that PHP is going to be around for a long time.

While reading about the desire for improvements to JavaScript, I wondered about what would be the best way to work towards them. They can’t just change everything like Angular did with the 2.0, that could break the web. But if they offer backwards compatibility, it would just keep growing and ultimately become a huge confusing mess.
I guess that it’s fairly safe to say, that with programming languages, it’s important to make the correct decisions during the initial stages of development.

You might be wondering what the point of this article is, or what exactly is the actual “dilemma.” To be honest, there isn’t a point. I’m just thinking out loud. Incoming opinions lead to indecisiveness, which in turn results in time going wasted.

 

Anas Ismail Khan

 

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