My summer of code

Google summer of Code  is a great event, giving young people the opportunity to work with hopefully good mentors and gain an insight in the part of the IT world that is system design and programming. Programming is a word obsolete not used so much anymore. Who tells you I’m a programmer these days?  Web designer, systems designer, application developer,  project leader, database modeler - yeah, but programmer - no.

Each summer vacation if I do not have anything better to do , I try study a subject in some detail, something I then can use in my daily  work. Last summer I did some web development with CouchDB to learn Nosql databases (no I have no use for CouchDB in my work), two years ago I had better things to do, three years ago I created a Dekiwiki/MindTouch  web site for use as a ‘virtual  project workplace’ only to know we already had ‘standardized’ around the Lotus Notes Quickr product.

This year I have decided to pursue something for sheer lust or pleasure. I will learn a new programming language. Deep down in my heart I’m a programmer. If I do not program anything for a month or two I get abstinence problems.  Unfortunately it is a long time since I learned a new programming language. The last one I learned is PHP and it is about 10 years ago. And I feel a bit handicapped or limited. I realize I must have more tools in my toolbox, Javascript for certain. But there are others, C I have used a little 15 years ago, C++ I tried, C# and Java too. I looked at Phyton, Ruby, Node.js and a few more. Nice languages but nay it really didn’t click. I also tried Erlang but I’m not smart enough for Erlang or maybe too old or both.


 I have been following the development of PERL6 since 2002 or so and that I really like. I started to write Perl 6 a few times, but Perl 6 is not ready yet. Creating something genuinely new takes time and there are some lovely constructs in there. I will definitely  learn Perl 6, it’s part of the future. Perl 6 is coming to us this year, of that I’m certain. The guys behind Perl 6 are true heroes of endurance.  And Carl Mäsak  (one of the heroes) is my favorite blogger. Carl’s posts are often brilliant, full of wit and humor and wisdom about IT and beyond.  

And the winner of my summer of code is - D

But for my summer of code I decided to go for D. The D language  has a lot of nice features and it comes with an assembler. It’s not mainstream - I like that, but it has the potential to become mainstream - I like that even more.


Year 2001 I needed a simple scripting language in the Linux environment, I wanted to build a simple job controller I choose PHP (in favor of PERL). PHP was new and fresh and I never heard  about it, so I thought I should give it a try. Still I can do whatever I need in PHP, it’s a good scripting language, no matter what programmers not using PHP say (and they do). The animosity is interesting, some guys are really explicit when they express their dislike of PHP. And it’s fun to read it is impossible to do with PHP what you do with PHP.

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