From Ruby With Love

I’ve been learning some JavaScript for the past few days, and so far, I don’t really enjoy using JavaScript. I’ve been thinking about why that is a lot, and the only answer I can come up with is the lack of love in the language…

The best way to explain this is to compare it to Ruby.

The creator of Ruby, Yukihiro Matsumoto, said the following in an amazing interview about the philosophy behind Ruby:

“Language designers want to design the perfect language. They want to be able to say, “My language is perfect. It can do everything.” But it’s just plain impossible to design a perfect language, because there are two ways to look at a language. One way is by looking at what can be done with that language. The other is by looking at how we feel using that language—how we feel while programming.”

Ever since I’ve started programming with Ruby, I’ve LOVED it. Matsumoto clearly put his love into the language and when we use it, we feel it. This is not a quantifiable thing. Just use Ruby and you’ll fall in love too.

In contrast, when I’m using JavaScript, which is super clunky and bloated compared to Ruby and doesn’t have good conventions, I just feel like I’m using something half-finished that nobody loves (a neglected child), and it doesn’t feel good.

It’s funny to think about programming languages this way, but just like with any other product out there, you need to put the love into it to get people to love it back.

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