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Why the need to stamp on the efforts of others

Christopher Diggins is busy building his Heron Language.

He is making it a real gift to those of use who are interesting in langauge design, because not only is he making it open source he is sharing his every thought in his Heron-Centric blog.

He received a comment that initially amused me, but it is starting to annoy me as time goes on:

"Is Heron a joke? Why don't you just learn C#, Java, PHP, Python, or any of the other languages out there and make money... Grow up!"
http://www.heron-centric.com/2004/07/major-release-of-heron.html

The anonymous poster isn't interested in creating a new language.  Fair enough.  Christopher is.  Fair enough.

So why the need to post insults?

Is he intimidated by Christophers ability to create a new langauage?

Is he worried that Heron will take over the world and all the time he invested in his current language will be wasted?

Is he really so concerned that Christopher may be wasting his time that he is compelled to help him out of the kindness in his heart?

Ged Byrne
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

I'd guess 1) and 2).

Fernanda Stickpot
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Why do people feel the need to explain these things in such terms? Fact is, the anonymous poster is a cunt. He stomps on Heron because it gives him pleasure to do so, and on the internet he can belittle without fear of retaliation.

(Although as a side note, I think Chris should have an answer to the question posed).

Mr Jack
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Note how the poster is implying a link between being "grown up" and making money. I'm sure Christopher will gain an immense amount of enjoyment and experience from creating Heron, whether it makes money or not, and his work will benefit a large number of people.

Unfortunately, there are certain people, and the poster seems to be one of them, who feel tremendously threatened by altruistic behaviour like Christopher's. I've come to believe this is because it threatens their view of how you should live your life. If you're devoted to making money (and nothing else, no hobbies etc) then it must be frustrating to see people enjoying themselves doing something that won't necessarily bring them financial gain.

Happily, there are a great number of enlightened people who have a more sensible "Live and let live" attitude. The easiest thing is just to ignore the idiots and engage with the enlightened ones. If you're feeling energetic you can engage with the idiots as well, and try to convince them to be less judgmental... but it's a long road, so make sure it doesn't take too much out of you.

Adrian
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

please cross-post to the recent OSS threads ;-)

i like i
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

"If you're feeling energetic you can engage with the idiots as well, and try to convince them to be less judgmental"

Playing the devil's advocate, here... By calling them "idiots", you've just judged them youself, right? ;)

I just happen to subscribe to Scott Adam's view, that we're all idiots, on and off, during any normal day.

Paulo Caetano
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Good point, and if I was re-writing that, I'd change it to something less confrontational. Apologies.

Adrian
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Yes, the person who posted that comment was being a bit rude, but it he does have a point.  Why Heron?  Why *ANOTHER* programming language that 99.9999999999% of the people in the world won't care about?

Have you ever seen someone doing something that you thought was stupid, and thought to yourself "what an idiot"?

Of course you have.  We all have.

M. Night Shammalamma
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

OTOH, I think people catch onto the fact that Diggins is a quixotic character. I noticed what happened on Wikipedia, how he filtered out everything that couldn't be turned into a pro-Heron argument.

Still, I'm glad that new language ideas are popping up left & right, as people realize that language environments are just like any other software, and they're finally asking for good ones. No more Britney Spears software which justifiers claim must be good because everyone's using it.

Tayssir John Gabbour
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

>>Why *ANOTHER* programming language...

I bet the makers of Ruby, Python, Perl, PHP, etc were given that same question. Its evolution. Heron might not be remarkable in and of itself, but its never the less another step forward. More trials and more errors and more lessons learned.
People have had the stance that "Its good enough, we dont need any better/more" many times in the history of computing, but evolution has proven them wrong. over and over.

Eric Debois
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Yeah, why didn't we just stick with Fortran and let that be the end of it?

old_timer
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Why paint?  Why *ANOTHER* painting that 99.9999999999% of the people in the world won't care about?

Why write?  Why *ANOTHER* novel that 99.9999999999% of the people in the world won't care about?


Why boatbuilding?  Why *ANOTHER* boat that 99.9999999999% of the people in the world won't care about?

josheli
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

"So why the need to post insults?"

Why the need to post insults about insults? :-)

Seriously, though, the world has lots of jerks in it (and people in general are fundamentally broken. Pettiness and jealousy are some of the primary motivations behind many human interactions), and there's no way you'll be able to show them the light. Just ignore it and move on. It is unrealistic to expect unanimous agreement on anything, no matter how right and logical it may seem to you.

Regarding one other comment in this thread:

"Unfortunately, there are certain people, and the poster seems to be one of them, who feel tremendously threatened by altruistic behaviour like Christopher's."

While I don't know about this project in general, often people's motives aren't primarily altruistic (though the people who think they have everyone fooled will gasp in horror and proclaim innocence of any vested personal interests in their do-goodism). Many open source projects, for instance, are to build the resume and professional credibility of the developers (which in turn gets them better jobs, more pay, the power, the women, etc).

Dennis Forbes
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

"the women, etc."

Man, I've clearly been writing the wrong software.  Woman, singular, and that in spite of the software, not because of it.  I had better luck with groupies when I was writing torrid serial fiction.

Clay Dowling
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

"Why *ANOTHER* programming language that 99.9999999999% of the people in the world won't care about?"

Quit exaggerating.  In order for 1 person to care in the above case, there needs to be 1,000,000,000,000 people in the world. So your example means only 1/100 th of a person cares :)  I don't think that's enough to get the program written.  Since the percentage is clearly better than that, then I say got for it.

Steamrolla
Friday, July 30, 2004

Thank you to all those who are encouraging, I greatly appreciate the support.

But please take note that I have no pretext about being altruistic. I want success and glory as much as the next guy, I just don't care as much about money.

Concerning the quixotic nature of my discussion at wikipedia, the attacks on the Heron programming entry were petty, arbitrary and more aimed at my character than the quality of the entry itself or an objective application of rules. The thing was a farce, so I hardly put my best face forward.

And to those who are disparaging, well, I stick my tounge out at you (or other cultutrally appropriate mild gestural insult).

Christopher Diggins
Friday, August 13, 2004

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