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.
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.
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.