14 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2022
    1. The LISP part, though, is not going well. Porting clever 1970s Stanford AI Lab macros written on the original SAIL machine to modern Common LISP is hard. Anybody with a knowledge of MACLISP want to help?
  2. Aug 2022
    1. Obnoxious.

      As someone recently pointed out on HN, it's very common nowadays to encounter the no-one-knows-else-what-they're-doing-here refrain as cover—I don't have to feel insecure about not understanding this because not only am I not alone, nobody else understands it either.

      Secondly, if your code is hard to understand regarding its use of this, then your code his hard to understand. this isn't super easy, but it's also not hard. Your code (or the code you're being made to wade into) probably just sucks. The this confusion is making you confront it, though, instead of letting it otherwise fly under the radar.* So fix it and stop going in for the low-effort, this-centric clapter.

      * Not claiming here that this is unique; there are allowed to be other things that work as the same sort of indicator.

  3. Jun 2022
  4. May 2022
    1. an acknowledgement of network effects: LP is unlikely to ever catch on enough to be the majority, so there needs to be a way for a random programmer using their preferred IDE/editor to edit a "literate" program

      This is part of the reason why I advocate for language skins for comparatively esoteric languages like Ada.

    1. memory usage and (lack of) parallelism are concerns

      Memory usage is a concern? wat

      It's a problem, sure, if you're programming the way NPMers do. So don't do that.

      This is a huge problem I've noticed when it comes to people programming in JS—even, bizarrely, people coming from other languages like Java or C# and where you'd expect them to at least try to continue to do things in JS just like they're comfortable doing in their own language. Just because it's there (i.e. possible in the language, e.g. dynamic language features) doesn't mean you have to use it...

      (Relevant: How (and why) developers use the dynamic features of programming languages https://users.dcc.uchile.cl/~rrobbes/p/EMSE-features.pdf)

      The really annoying thing is that the NPM style isn't even idiomatic for the language! So much of what the NodeJS camp does is so clearly done in frustration and the byproduct of a desire to work against the language. Case in point: the absolutely nonsensical attitude about always using triple equals (as if to ward off some evil spirits) and the undeniable contempt that so many have for this.

  5. www.mindprod.com www.mindprod.com
    1. local a (e.g. aPoint) param p (e.g. pPoint) member instance m (e.g. mPoint) static s (e.g. sPoint)

      This is really only a problem in languages that make the unfortunate mistake of allowing references to unqualified names that get fixed up as if the programmer had written this.mPoint or Foo.point. Even if you're writing in a language where that's possible, just don't write code like that! Just because you can doesn't mean you have to.

      The only real exception is distinguishing locals from parameters. Keep your procedures short and it's less of a problem.

    1. This can get much worse than the above example; the number of \’s required is exponential in the nesting depth. Rc fixes this by making the backquote a unary operator whose argument is a command, like this: size=‘{wc -l ‘{ls -t|sed 1q}}
  6. Mar 2022
    1. Understanding a strange codebase is hard.

      John Nagle is fond of making the observation that there are three fundamental and recurring questions that dominate one's concerns when programming in C.

      More broadly (speaking of software development generally), one of the two big frustrations I have when dealing with a foreign codebase is the simple question, "Where the hell does this type/function come from?" (esp. in C and, unfortunately, in Go, too, since the team didn't take the opportunity to fix it there when they could have...). There's something to be said for Intellisense-like smarts in IDEs, but I think the criticism of IDEs is justified. I shouldn't need an IDE just to be able to make sense of what I'm reading.

      The other big frustration I often have is "Where does the program really start?" Gilad Bracha seems to really get this, from what I've understood of his descriptions about how module definitions work in Newspeak. Even though it's reviled, I think Java was really shrewd about its decisions here (and on the previous problem, too, for that matter—don't know exactly where FooBar comes from? welp, at least you can be reasonably sure that it's in a file called FooBar.java somewhere, so you can do a simple (and cheap) search across file names instead of a (slow, more expensive) full-text search). Except for static initializers, Java classes are just definitions. You don't get to have live code in the top-level scope the way you can with JS or Python or Go. As cumbersome as Java's design decision might feel like it's getting in your way when you're working on your own projects and no matter how much you hate it for making you pay the boilerplate tax, when it comes to diving in to a foreign codebase, it's great when modules are "inert". They don't get to do anything, save for changing the visibility of some symbol (e.g. the FooBar of FooBar.java). If you want to know how a program works, then you can trace the whole thing, in theory, starting from main. That's really convenient when it means you don't have to think about how something might be dependent on a loop in an arbitrary file that immediately executes on import, or any other top-level diddling (i.e. critical functionality obscured by some esoteric global mutable state).

  7. Oct 2021
  8. Jun 2021
  9. Feb 2021
    1. In programming language design, a first-class citizen (also type, object, entity, or value) in a given programming language is an entity which supports all the operations generally available to other entities. These operations typically include being passed as an argument, returned from a function, modified, and assigned to a variable.