The C-Dominion

Have you ever thought about what massive power c-style programming holds? Not just in the number of users and adherents but in the very minds of the majority of programmers today? By c-style I mean all languages that are similar in style to C and C++, in this group you can find Java, Perl and PHP to name a few.

I am part of this paradigm like most people who instruct computers today, and the more I reflect on it the more crazy my behavior seems. For instance, it was only with the introduction of Actionscript 2 by Macromedia that I actually started to do advanced rich Internet applications. Before that the only option was AS1 which templated objects with prototype syntax and some fuzzy functional object logic which I still today have not grasped. Much like I still can’t do anything advanced with Javascript because my mind seems to abhor the different way classes are declared. My js typically is a big document with a lot of function declarations because at that level the language conforms with c-style. This is my c-quirk, the hangup that stops me from seriously getting into for instance js.

Lately I have realized that there is a lot going on in the world of Python and Ruby and I decided to get into one of them. After doing some research I decided to go for Ruby because it usually won out in readability, tersity and c-style conformity tests even though I don’t consider either Ruby or Python to be a part of the c-dominion. The jump is simply too big but apparently Ruby is supposed to be a little bit easier to learn for the indoctrinated brain. But of course the first thing I had to check was that classes were declared with ‘class classname’ which they are so the learning process could begin (no I’m not kidding). There are a lot of nifty things in Ruby that differ from the c-style languages, and it’s all a joy even though I had some problems grasping blocks in the beginning. I had no problems with skipping the ; at each line though, no hangup there. Only a lot of pleasant surprises. That doesn’t mean that every c-styler will have as easy a time, we probably have different hangups all of us. I didn’t have a hangup that prevented me from getting into Ruby, but you might.

The dominion is the reason why we are not using Rails instead of php at work. Rails would actually be ideal for us. Apparently Rails can run into performance problems when loaded too heavily but that is not an issue with 90% of everything we do here. Simply put; we would save a lot of time and money with Rails. So why don’t we? Because every single hire we make here in Thailand is already a part of the dominion and can’t easily be made to learn something so alien as Ruby. The majority have had courses in Java and if we are lucky some php. It’s a breeze to have Java people up and running with php in very little time. The story would be very different if we tried Ruby which is a shame. A paradigm can be disproved and abandoned fairly quickly but this is worse, it’s something that completely dominates us, a mental prison we can’t get out of.

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