What I learned at the Emerging Languages Camp

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Re-shared from a tweet from Matz, who in turn …

Amos Wenger (ooc)

Any domain has two levels of knowledge: the core ideas for the domain, and the cultural wisdom around those ideas. The first tells you how to do stuff. The latter often tells you which stuff not to do. Any well-versed programming language person can tell you about both recursive-descent parsers and generated parsers. They’ll also tell that generated parsers are the “right” way to do that.

Most of the time that advice will save you from wasted effort, but sometimes I think it keeps people from going down paths that may actually be fruitful. Sometimes the thing that everyone knows is true isn’t. (For example, every language I know of with a lot of real-world users actually does use a hand-written parser.)

Amos is a young French iconoclast. If he’d been born in a different time, I expect he’d be a brick-tossing anarchist. One advantage that attitude gives him is that he and the others working on ooc pour features into the language while the rest of us are still sitting around fretting about minutia. I think a lot of us could use some of that “let’s just fucking do it” spirit.


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