Language of Choice

   19 March 2005, mid-afternoon

Sometimes, while you surf around on the Internet, you may come across people have a Language of Choice argument. In the western world we call these people geeks, but maybe where you are from they are referred to by another name. Recently I stumbled upon such an argument. When it comes to web development, some people are obsessed with Java. Others with Ruby. The lead developer at Signal vs. Noise, David Heinemeier Hansson, is a bit of a Ruby Zealot. He wrote the popular framework Ruby on Rails. He used the framework to write a simple To-Do list application, Ta-Da Lists. Of course, once the application was released, the bitching began. On the internet, especially with software, people will quickly tell you to put-up or shut-up. Geert Bevin, the bitcher in question, opted to put-up. Of course, this got everyone up in arms about which implementation was better. This is the geek community equivalent of a pissing contest.



  1. If you enjoy geek-style-rant-fests then be sure to read the comments in these posts.

  2. Re: Language of Choice, I always have to think of this article: Why I hate advocacy which draws comparisons to “tribes”.

  3. wow. that’s priceless. it’s insane that grown men bicker like children about programming languages. When wordpress changed it’s standard theme an incredibly bitter name calling fight broke out amongst some members. The same thing happens in just about every standards group too, it’s a miracle they ever settle on anything.

  4. It never ceases to amaze me—too many programmers are religious about their choice of programming language. It’s always been a red flag for me if I’m interviewing someone and they talk about their extreme attachment to one technology vs. another.

  5. Ramanan, what I find particularly sad is that I NEVER bitched against Ruby nor against Rails. In fact I like Ruby as a scripting language and I think that Rails has some good ideas. My post “Re: Hype: Ruby on Rails” specifically targets hype, out-of-context comparisons and lame LoC statements. Yet, it seems that only a handful of people are able to read this correctly and don’t immediately jump into the ‘language war’ conclusion. If you read the comments that my posts get from Rails users things get ever more depressing and I’ll say it with a quote of one of the non-zealot commentors “They aren’t the brightest lot, and it seriously seems like they have been brainwashed or something. And they keep coming at Geert like some kind of ‘Dawn of the Dead’ army or something.”

  6. Hey Geert, I realize what I wrote here makes you come off far worse than I meant to. That wasn’t my intention, so I’m sorry. I had read through all your posts and comments when I posted this, but in using the word “bitching” to describe what you wrote, twice, it makes it sound like I agree with the Ruby crowd more than I actually do. You actually do come off a lot more level headed later in the debate, where as a lot of the ruby-zealots remain just that, zealots.

    The post was meant to point out an interesting geek-cat-fight.

  7. Hi Ramanan, no offense taken ;-). I just don’t like to be associated with ‘bitching’, ‘trolling’ and ‘bile’ while I spend a lot of time to try to sensibly discuss things and actually write code to try things out and back up my statements.

    Best regards,

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