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A little heresy

Posted by batate on July 8, 2004 at 3:54 AM PDT

In Hackers and Painers, Paul Graham of Arc fame dishes out his share of heresy. He tackles social heresy (actively seek out heresy, schools are prisons). But it's the programming heresies that interest me most.

This guy really challenges you to think. He represents Lisp as the one true language (certainly, the most powerful.) He talks about the problems with Java. He discusses a start up founded on Lisp that was much more productive than their competition, and digs a little at the Java community by saying that he wasn't worried if his competitors were putting up job postings for Java guys.

The book certainly made me think. We're in the age of heresy. You can say things today that you couldn't say five years ago. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Stratic typing is an artificial safety net. Dynamic typing can make you much more productive.
  • Checked exceptions may have been a mistake.
  • OOP may actually hinder reuse. Layered software may be more important than OOP.
  • Maybe the bigger vendors don't have it all figured out before they ship a product. (EJB, CORBA, etc.)

And a little heresy is good for Java. Thank you, Paul.