I want to do $THING. Normally I do my hacking in Python, which is okay but has lots of frustrations. My friends tell me $LANGUAGE is better for doing $THING. After going through the online tutorial, I can see why. Maybe I’ll try $LANGUAGE for this project! Just a few things I need to figure out first:
- How do I install it? The docs say
brew install, but I’m on Windows.
- Do I have to use WSL?
- Why is it breaking on WSL?
- How am I supposed to be writing this? Do I download an IDE? Is there a Vim plugin? Is this ostensibly editor-agnostic but really supposed to use Emacs?
- Uh oh, there’s two competing plugins. The communities hate each other. Which do I choose?
- How do I read from a file? How do I parse JSON? How do I pull environment variables?
- How do I do any of the things that aren’t part of the core syntax/semantics but are super common problems people face every day?
- I’m going to have to memorize another 100 functions and their parameters, aren’t I?
- What are the language quirks that will cost me an hour to discover?
- What are the footguns that will cost me a day to debug?
- What are the things that are just different enough from what I’m used to that will confuse me? What will trip me up every time I switch back to a different language?
- What parts of the core language should I avoid at all costs?
- What are the snippets that look right but are secretly wrong?
- How is the help organized? Is there an official site? How’s the site laid out?
- Is it actually useful or will it make me want to smash all computers?
- Does it have documentation for people besides “complete newbies” and “language maintainers”?
- Can I download the official docs, or will I have to be online to read any of the references?
- Are there official docs?
- Oh wait, I’m supposed to learn from $BOOK, which is only available in physical form.
- And people keep telling me that $AUTHOR is a serial killer?
- I hit problem X. Should I look for help in the official docs, or the FAQ, or the community, or should I be putting random stuff into Google?
- Oh, looks like someone answered this in 2007! Which was eight versions ago. Are they still right or is their advice obsolete?
- I found something from 2011 that said the 2007 person was wrong. Do I do what 2011 dude says or should I assume his advice is also obsolete?
- How do I debug? Will doing anything other than “break into repl” be like pulling teeth?
- Will “break into repl” be like pulling teeth?
- Is this one of those communities which think debuggers are for n00bs and you should write a lot of print statements?
- Testing. Is unit testing part of the core library, or do I need to install a third party framework?
- Or both? Like how Python comes with
unittest, but everybody uses
- Or how Ruby has
Test::Unit, and people get into fights about which is best.
- Apparently I’m supposed to learn Cucumber?
- What about property-based testing? Does $LANGUAGE even have a PBT library?
- How does the test runner work? How long should I try to integrate it with my dev environment before giving up and running it in a separate terminal?
- Or both? Like how Python comes with
- How do I build? How do I package? How do I manage my environment?
- What are all the command flags I should be using that aren’t default for various reasons?
- How am I supposed to “properly” organize my project files?
- I organized everything properly, how come it’s still not finding my module?
- Package management.
- How do I find the packages I need? If there are multiple competing packages, how do I decide which one I should use?
- And now I have to learn the APIs of the third-party packages.
- And the API of the package manager itself.
- What are the “canonical” packages the community has consensus on? Am I going to have to dive into the community to find out what I need to install?
- I do?
- Oh great.
- So… the language community.
- Where are they? Will I have to join Yet Another Slack? Install Yet Another Messaging App? Do I have to set up a dedicated machine just to keep connected to an IRC channel?
- Are they friendly to beginners, hostile, passive-aggressive?
- Are there any missing stairs or known abusers?
- Are there high-profile rivalries?
- What innocuous-seeming topics always turn into a flamewar? Is my question even safe to ask?
- Now they’re explaining something way above my head. Is this necessary to get, or are they just cursed with knowledge?
- What opinions do they have on other programming languages? Are they going to look down on me for writing a lot of Python?
- Do they think I’m subhuman scum for using Windows?
- What are all these in-jokes supposed to be?
Screw this, I’m going back to Python.
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