Yegge's crusade

I’m generally a big fan of Steve Yegge’s rants. See this earlier post for links and quotes from some of my favorites. His writings were a significant influence in my decision to seriously look for a new language to learn in 2007 – I even bought Programming Language Pragmatics on his recommendation, piecemeal reading of which has definitely expanded my thinking (as well as dredging up parts of that Compiler Construction course I took back in 1989…).

His latest post, “The Pinocchio Problem”, is a meandering rant/reverie about complex systems and the future of programming. For me it falls far short of his great pieces. But I had to post about it because of this single passage:

We will never be able to make real progress in computing and language design in our industry until C syntax is wholly eradicated: a task that could take fifty years. The only way to make progress in the meantime is to separate the model (the AST) and the presentation (the syntax) in programming languages, allow skinnable syntax, and let the C-like-syntax lovers continue to use it until they’re all dead.

Ironically for me, he slams Haskell in the post too – for being statically typed. I almost let that get to me until I remembered… Steve hates all programming languages, he just hates some more than others.