Archive for September, 2012

September 9, 2012

The summer of language

Is it Java jumble? Python pile-on? Ruby ramble? That has been our summer of finding the right language for our project and the tools to match. Tough selection process. It seemed to me we had found a nice road to travel down, but then the pavement gave way to dirt roads and ended in a thicket. Well, that is exaggerated. But not all wrong, either.

Each language has its own world, positives and negatives. But when architecting a something, I can tell that you need to lay a solid foundation on which you can build.

Tech support guy makes it plain and simple, by saying that selecting a programming language is one of the most major decisions a programmer will make during the entire process. The entire process? Whoa, that is big, my friend. But even as a newbie, I like his overview of the reasons to pick one language over another: considering speed, graphical user interface needs, experience and familiarity and other criteria.

Funny though, his post peters out after he talks about C. I guess we know which language he likes best. No, Brendan, we ain’t walking down C Street, I don’t think.

These IBM developers, Jerry Reghunadh and Neha Jain, also have an overview. I like their concept of thinking about elasticity as you pick your language–the ease with which new features can be added to a platform. I guess when you start out, you work on a functionality so hard that it is difficult to see when you might be ready to expand (except in those daydreaming moments).

Interesting, too, their ideas on Java or Python. They also have a web application implemented in a Representational State Transfer (REST) architecture both in JSP and PHP. One day I will read Roy Fielding’s University of California at Irvine PhD thesis on the REST subject, for fun. But I gather that there is no big difference except that PHP lacks multi-threading capability. Ok then.

But right now, we first are trying to assure we have a great something that can, one day in the not so distant future, actually go and REST.