Linked Languages

A love of languages (9 March 2022) I disagree with the specifics, but the spirit of this post very much describes me.

In defense of complicated programming languages (23 January 2022) I don't agree with all of it; there's fundamental complexity and accidental complexity, and it's all too easy to add the latter while thinking it's the former. Also, if you spend all your energy wrangling your tools, you won't have any left for solving the actual problem. But the main point stands.

Parser generators vs. handwritten parsers: surveying major language implementations in 2021 (21 August 2021) Short version: a surprising number of compilers and interpreters use hand-written parsers, even some I didn't expect to. And it tends to speed things up as a general rule.

Built to Last (31 August 2020): When overwhelmed unemployment insurance systems malfunctioned during the pandemic, governments blamed the sixty-year-old programming language COBOL. But what really failed?

(No links from 2019, curiously enough.)

Have you considered Rewriting It In Rust? (22 March 2016): this is satire, by the way.

And some really old links:


Python in 2021: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (2 September 2021) Then again, that's why I refuse to use pip and stick to the operating system's package manager, or at most Of course installing libraries from different sources, most of which are unaware of the specifics of your system, will mess things up. Be reasonable. Oh, and learn to keep your addiction to dependencies under control already.

Perl, Awk, sed

C and C++

And a really old one: C as an intermediate language (30 September 2012)


Code bloat

Drowning in code: The ever-growing problem of ever-growing codebases (12 February 2024) The speedier computing cake is a lie... so we got software bloat instead

A 2024 Plea for Lean Software (with running code) (18 January 2024) But, all in all, we are likely looking at 50 million+ lines of code active to open a garage door, running several operating system images on multiple servers.

Code bloat has become astronomical (5 June 2022) Content warning: ableist language

Software dependencies

Popular Python and PHP libraries hijacked to steal AWS keys (24 May 2022) "Supply chain attack" is a nice way of saying that over-reliance on package managers for development is a disaster waiting to happen.

General programming

Is the m*****s ever going to end? (11 January 2022) About the tech industry's obsession with perpetually reinventing the wheel, and the damage it causes. Content warning: ableist language.

Older links:

Really old links:

Positively ancient links: