Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Oh No! Let's Not Hurt Our Brains!

I couldn't believe this when I read it. It's an article arguing against closures in Java because they might be hard for some developers. I guess we should have never moved beyond ones and zeros either. Paradigm shifts always require us to look at things differently. I know I looked at the world differently after I learned Smalltalk or Lisp or Erlang or Haskell. Each of these languages pushed me into unfamiliar territory. Sure, it all looked alien and weird when I started with each one, but I soon learned.

To not do something because you are afraid of the average programmer is ludicrious. They never will become more than average if we don't push them. I'm sure object-oriented programming was scary at first for a lot of developers, but they learned. To not do a feature because it might confuse the "not-so-bright" developers is assuming too much. I'm reminded of a quote by Paul Graham:
"If you think you're designing something for idiots, odds are you're not designing something good, even for idiots."

If you don't know the power of closures, please go read "Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs" right now! Don't worry...It's not only for smart people.

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