Monday, December 05, 2005

Yet another language!

Lets see? Sometime around 1974 I learned my first language FORTRAN. Over the course of the next thirty plus years, I had learned over nearly twenty different computer languages on over fifteen difference machines and operating systems.

However, I recall the critical and key point in my programming life when I realized my linguistic lust for computer languages was really making my life overly complex. Even though I have developed a keen sense of general software engineering, switching your brain from one language mindset to another was getting pretty tiresome.

So I decided very early on to concentrate on just a few principal languages and built my future and company products around them. The languages were C/C++, BASIC and Delphi (only because I had an early product based on Pascal) and when required, ASM. For the most part, today, C/C++ and BASIC are my primary languages. I don't think BASIC will every leave this earth. Marketing always seems to prevail showing that BASIC is the status quo mass langauge for the "common" person. I think Microsoft learned this lesson several times over.

I know I am a few years late (by design) but I finally took the plunge to find out what this C# language and .NET environment was all about. I downloaded VS 2005 C++ Express Edition.

Wow! Its hard (and too much) to describe, but this is a whole new environment!

I believe it is not for my age group! I don't think I want to spend the precise time and energy to learn the "ins and out" of a whole new language and framework. To be a great programmer or "craftman of a tool", you have to roll up your sleeves and simply put the time in. Learn thru faults, trial and error and well as success.

Maybe I am just feeling the age. Maybe I am just falling victim to all the hype; I certainly don't need C# and .NET to continue with my career. Maybe we have just allowed Microsoft to once again change the "standards." They are known to do such things, you know?

I don't care how many layers one adds to a development environment. It still takes time to learn it. This has raised a question for me. Is there truly a new mentality of thinkers and new breed computer programmers who see the new language and framework as a natural environment for them? I guess the question may also be: What was wrong with C/C++ object oriented programming? Was it still too hard for the masses?

In the PC world, Visual Basic and Delphi opened the door to event driven GUI programming abd Component Engineering. Remember Dan's Brinklin's DEMO program? I attributed this popular early "modeling" tool for the masses as the early prototyping system. Add a real language behind it and you get your VB and Delphi.

With the new Visual Studio 2005 IDE, you can see how it touches base with VB and Delphi. They had a direct influence in the new framework now owned by Microsoft. In fact, Delphi's original architect was hired away from Borland a few years back and guess we are finally seeing the fruition of this man's work for Microsoft.

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