Ian Bicking: the old part of his blog

Re: Strange and unprofessional

>Woohoo, to hell with the enterprise! Let's all say to together!

To hell with the enterprise!

No, but seriously... To hell with the enterprise. I've been sitting around for years waiting for dynamic languages to gain acceptance in the enterprise. I figured it takes even the best technology a little time before it's going to be integrated into the status quo. But I'm beginning to think that the only thing standing in the way is dynamic-languages-are-scary-and-unprofessional FUD. "It's okay to play around in Ruby and Python for your guest-book thing, just don't try to bring it into my enterprise where we do real work!" I sometimes wonder if this kind of attitude is really just the Politics Oriented Software Developers preserving their right to a chaotic work environment:

http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2005/1/28/32622/4244

If you can't beat 'em, bitch and moan about the rules. ;)

Comment on Strange and unprofessional
by Ryan Tomayko

Comments:

While I totally agree with both of you on your views of 'enterprise' applications (10 years working for a govt. dept. will do that to you), I do think Ryan is being completely unfair to the original article.

"[C]hoosing another Web framework can seem strange or unprofessional. However, there are many viable alternatives on the market." (emphasis mine)

Dropping the context does make his initial statement seem declarative in a way that clearly wasn't intended. To stop after the very first line of an article that goes on to show the power of a specific dynamic language, just to criticise that introduction, almost makes it look like you were waiting for this fight. He's not aiming this article at people who are already utilising Python, Ruby et.al, he's very clearly addressing it to those for whom J2EE development is the be-all-end-all.

Ryan wrote: "I really do think 90% of J2EE is complete shit so please flame away on that one."

Clearly the author sees direct value in using Ruby, so it's possible he might even agree with you, otherwise he'd be spending his time on Java articles. This wasn't "grandstanding", this was writing to an audience. The last thing we need is for Java developers to see the "other camps" get all pissy about an out-of-context remark. Let's choose our battles with a bit more care.

# Alex Dante

You're being too generous here. Even without the context, the use of the word "seem" in the quoted sentence is fairly clear. If I were a cynic I might conclude that Ruby programmers were passionate but sloppy.

# Bob David

I do think Ryan is being completely unfair to the original article.

Oh, I wouldn't take it that far. I think he was just bothered that the author of the article felt a need to apologize for a productive, dynamic, less-formal language. Ryan's point, I think, is that in fact these less-formal languages aren't just theoretically superior, they are demonstrably superior; formalist languages are full of hype, but when you look at the real software that we use (in the case of the web, indirectly) it's not Java, and Java doesn't deserve to be some gold standard for technology comparisons. Even by "professional" standards (which as joeg pointed out, don't actually exist) Java doesn't deserve particular authority compared to other traditional systems like Perl or PHP. And Ruby is not strange at all compared to Perl or PHP.

None of this was really the point of my article -- I just used his post as a starting point to continue some other thoughts I'd been having.

# Ian Bicking