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January 11, 2013

Programming - The Answer , My Friend, is ...

on August 11, 2011

My Own Failures


1. I wrote an application in a Ruby web framework 1.x.x. Everything worked, fine. Then the 2.x.x. version came along and I upgraded and my app broke in many places. I fixed them somehow.

Then the 3.x.x. version came along and I upgraded and my app broke in many places again.

That is not the framework's problem. The real problem is I had used too many plugins.

2. I wrote an application in a PHP web framework 1.6.x. Everything worked, fine. Then the 1.7.x. version came along and I upgraded and my app broke in many places.

This is not the framework's problem. The real problem is I had used too many PEAR's.

3. Before all this, I worked for a project that migrated from EJB1 to 2 to 3 etc.
And for another project, where the project managers took years to move from Struts 1 to 2.

Other Failures


1. Netscape's spaghetti code that cost the company its battle against Microsoft.
2. Friendster's social graph that slowed the site to a crawl.
3. MySpace's "technical debt" that ruined the site.
4. Ruby on Rails framework --- Its lack of hosting (Maybe their developers don't care or it is their blind spot). And its handling of data management; if they don't know this part well enough, they should leave it alone e.g. PHP has no ORM and has been doing just fine.
5. Microsoft alone has a dozen or more data access technologies from 1998 to 2008, according to a book by Joel Spolsky. I don't have time or experience to know such stuffs.

My Own Successes


1. Porting RedBlack tree, AA tree etc from Java to Ruby is easy.
2. Porting shortest path, quick sort etc from Ruby to Python is easy.
3. Porting Regular expressions, string/text handling etc from PHP and Perl to Ruby is easy.
4. Porting higher order functions amongst Perl, Python, Ruby is easy.
5. Porting any plain domain or business object from any language to any other language is very very easy. From Java to Pascal, from Perl to PHP, from Ruby to C++, whatever.

6. Modeling or making mental representations or doing objects, classes and APIs for Law domains, Insurance domains, Education domains are very very very easy and fast.

7. Dreaming, going into trance, seeing in my mind eyes some apps end to end from the users' point of views is extremely easy and fast. "Easy" doesn't mean I do these activities well because, often, I even forgot to do them at all!

8. Writing domain objects is very easy.

9. Combining those objects is very easy.

Other Successes


1. Real programmers code everything by themselves. A paradox because they do and they don't.
2. Real programmers don't trust others' codes. A paradox because they do and they don't.

3. Excel team wrote even their own compiler, and killed off all dependencies.
4. Algorithms are very infrequent. They come once or twice in a decade.

5. Facebook is using many programming languages. So is Twitter.
6. Google founders didn't learn HTML etc on purpose.


The answer


If you can't find Apple-style appealing packaging, sell your stuffs, your wares raw, plain, uncovered!

Have fun!

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