10 Programming Languages Worth Checking Out [from H3RALD]

This article (10 Programming Languages Worth Checking Out) over at H3RALD is very interesting. If you seek out new things to learn, and new computer languages to program in, then this article should pique your interest.

The languages listed are: Haskell, Erlang, Io, PLT Scheme, Clojure, Squeak, OCaml, Factor, Lua, and Scala. There is also a To get you started… section for each language with pertinent links for learning more.

I was surprised to find that at least six of these languages have significantly caught my attention already. I find Lua to be absolutely beautiful and a delight to program in (my PalmPilot has PLua loaded all the time). Squeak is just Smalltalk-80 kept alive – and Smalltalk has been of interest to me ever since I learned of it decades ago. Haskell and Erlang are interesting, too – but I’ve not followed that up with learning yet.

Now Scala and Clojure have my attention. Unfortunately, Clojure almost seems like it takes the simplicity of Common Lisp and trades it in for complexity. I don’t find the “complaints” against Common Lisp to be valid; I’d rather see Common Lisp implemented in Java than a Lisp-derivative.

I expect I’ll be talking more about Scala as time goes on – this language has caught me good.

BarCamp Chicago 2008: Afterword

BarCamp Chicago wrapped up nicely yesterday with a number of talks. There was a talk about Python (I still don’t get why folks aren’t using Ruby, but that’s just me), an open source hardware project demo, a talk on wikis, a talk on couchdb – very nice indeed.

The open source hardware project is called Arduino and is available prebuilt for a minimal price (about US$30 to US$40) – though you could build it yourself if you like (the diagrams are online and available to all). An accelerometer was attached to the Arduino device (which was attached to the computer via USB) and the outputs printed out on the console.

The wiki talk covered what it took to install a wiki and the speaker’s experience with wikis (and MediaWiki in particular).

The couchdb talk discussed couchdb (which was particularly pertinent, because it runs using Erlang, discussed earlier). Couchdb is a database which is based on documents and uses RDF for everything, and which can be spread out among a set of computers quite easily. Note that it is not relational, and it is not object-oriented either.

And of course, what is BarCamp Chicago without Ron May?