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I spent over a decade of my life working with Ada. I've spent almost the same amount of time working with C# and VisualBasic. And I've spent almost six years now with F#. I consider all of these great languages for various reasons, each with their respective problems. As these are mostly mature languages some of the problems were only knowable in hindsight. But Ada was always sort of my baby. I don't really mind extra typing, as at least what I do, reading happens much more than writing, and tab completion has most things only being 3-4 key presses irl. But I'm no zealot, and have been fully aware of deficiencies in the language, just like any language would have. I've had similar feelings of all languages I've worked with, and the .NET/C#/VB/F# guys are excellent with taking suggestions and feedback.
This is not the case with Ada, and this will be my story, since I've no longer decided anonymity is necessary.
First few years learning the language I did what anyone does: you write shit that already exists just to learn. Kept refining it over time, sometimes needing to do entire rewrites. Eventually a few of these wound up being good. Not novel, just good stuff that already existed. Outperforming the leading Ada company in benchmarks kind of good. At the time I was really gung-ho about the language. Would have loved to make Ada development a career. Eventually build up enough of this, as well as a working, but very bad performing compiler, and decide to try to apply for a job at this company. I wasn't worried about the quality of the compiler, as anyone who's seriously worked with Ada knows, the language is remarkably complex with some bizarre rules in dark corners, so a compiler which passes the standards test indicates a very intimate knowledge of the language few can attest to.
I get told they didn't think I would be a good fit for the job, and that they didn't think I should be doing development.
A few months of rapid cycling between hatred and self loathing passes, and then a suicide attempt. I've got past problems which contributed more so than the actual job denial.
So I get better and start working even harder on my shit. Get the performance of my stuff up even better. Don't bother even trying to fix up the compiler, and start researching about text parsing. Do tons of small programs to test things, and wind up learning a lot. I'm starting to notice a lot of languages really surpassing Ada in _quality of life_, with things package managers and repositories for those, as well as social media presence and exhaustive tutorials from the community.
At the time I didn't really get programming language specific package managers (I do now), but I still brought this up to the community. Don't do that. They don't like new ideas. Odd for a language which at the time was so innovative. But social media presence did eventually happen with a Twitter account that is most definitely run by a specific Ada company masquerading as a general Ada advocate. It did occasionally draw interest to neat things from the community, so that's cool.
Since I've been using both VisualStudio and an IDE this Ada company provides, I saw a very jarring quality difference over the years. I'm not gonna say VS is perfect, it's not. But this piece of shit made VS look like a polished streamlined bug free race car designed by expert UX people. It. Was. Bad. Very little features, with little added over the years. Fast forwarding several years, I can find about ten bugs in five minutes each update, and I can't find bugs in the video games I play, so I'm no bug finder. It's just that bad. This from a company providing software for "highly reliable systems"...
So I decide to take a crack at writing an editor extension for VS Code, which I had never even used. It actually went well, and as of this writing it has over 24k downloads, and I've received some great comments from some people over on Twitter about how detailed the highlighting is. Plenty of bespoke advertising the entire time in development, of course.
Never a single word from the community about me.
Around this time I had also started a YouTube channel to provide educational content about the language, since there's very little, except large textbooks which aren't right for everyone. Now keep in mind I had written a compiler which at least was passing the language standards test, so I definitely know the language very well. This is a standard the programmers at these companies will admit very few people understand. YouTube channel met with hate from the community, and overwhelming thanks from newcomers. Never a shout out from the "community" Twitter account. The hate went as far as things like how nothing I say should be listened to because I'm a degenerate Irishman, to things like how the world would have been a better place if I was successful in killing myself (I don't talk much about my mental illness, but it shows up).
I'm strictly a .NET developer now. All code ported.5
Is it just me who sees this? JS development in a somewhat more complex setting (like vue-storefront) is just a horrible mess.
I have 10+ experience in java, c# and python, and I've never needed more than a a few hours to get into a new codebase, understanding the overall system, being able to guess where to fix a given problem.
But with JS (and also TS for that matter) I'm at my limits. Most of the files look like they don't do anything. There seems to be no structure, both from a file system point of view, nor from a code point of view.
It start with little things like 300 char long lines including various lambdas, closures and ifs with useless variables names, over overly generic and minified method/function names to inconsistent naming of files, classes and basically everything else.
I used to just set a breakpoint somewhere in my code (or in a compiled dependency) wait this it is being hit and go back and forth to learn how the system state changes.
This seems to be highly limited in JS. I didn't find the one way to just being able to debug, everything that is. There are weird things like transpilers, compiler, minifiers, bablers and what not else. There is an error? Go f... yourself ...
And what do I find as the number one tipp all across the internet? Console.log?? are you kidding me, sure just tell me, your kidding me right?
If I would have to describe the JS world in one word, I would use "inconsistency". It's all just a pain in the ass.
I remember when I switcher from VisualStudio/C# to Eclipse/Java I felt like traveling back in time for about 10 years. Everyting seemd so ... old-schoolish, buggy, weird.
When I now switch from java to JS it makes me feel the same way. It's all so highly unproductive, inconsistent, undeterministic, cobbled together.
For one inconveinience the JS communinity seems to like to build huge shitloads of stuff around it, instead of fixing the obvious. And noone seems to see that.
It's like they are all blinded somehow. Currently I'm also trying to implement a small react app based on react-admin. The simplest things to develop and debug are a nightmare. There is so much boilerplate that to write that most people in the internet just keep copying stuff, without even trying to understand what it actually does.
I've always been a guy that tries to understand what the fuck this code actuall does. And for most of the parts I just thing, that the stuff there is useless or could be done in a way more readable way. But instead, all the devs out there just seem to chose the "copy and fix somehow-ish" way.
I'm all in for component-izing stuff. I like encapsulation, I'm a OOP guy by heart. But what react and similar frameworks do is just insane. It's just not right (for some part).
Especially when you have to remember so much stuff that is just mechanics/boilerplate without having any actual "business logical function".
People always say java is so verbose. I don't think it is, there is so few syntax that it almost reads like a prose story. When I look at JS and TS instead, I'm overwhelmed by all the syntax, almost wondering every second line, what the actual fuck this could mean. The boilerplate/logic ration seems way to off ..
So it really makes me wonder, if all you JS devs out there are just so used to that stuff, that you cannot imagine how it could be done better? I still remember my C# days, but I admin that I just got used to java. So I can somehow understand that all. But JS is just another few levels less deeper.
But maybe I'm just lazy and too old ...4
This is meant as a follow-up on my story about how I'm no longer and Ada developer and everything leading up to that. The tldr is that despite over a decade of FOSS work, code that could regularly outperform a leading Ada vendor, and much needed educational media, I was rejected from a job at that vendor, as well as a testing company centered around Ada, as well as regularly met with hostility from the community.
The past few months I have been working on a "pattern combinator" engine for text parsing, that works in C#, VB, and F#. I won't explain it here, but the performance is wonderful and there's substantial advantages.
From there, I've started a small project to write a domain specific language for easily defining grammars and parsing it using this engine.
Microsoft's VisualStudio team has reached out and offered help and advice for implementing the extensions and other integrations I want.
That Ada vendor regularly copied things I had worked on, "introducing" seven things after I had originally been working on them.
In the almost as long experience with .NET I've rarely encountered hostility, and the closest thing to a problem I've had has been a few, resolved, misunderstandings.
Microsoft is a pretty damn good company. And it's great to actually be welcomed/included.2
It is sad to say, but programming in C# using Visual Studio basically consists of clicking buttons, dragging and dropping files and checking / unchecking checkboxes in order to get everything generated.
Where are to good old days, when code still had to be typed. :(19
Then I got to PHP during the years from some online tutorial about making dynamic websites. My website was more static than stone, but yeah, I did page loading with PHP! Awful experience anyway, because I had to install Xampp, get it work and other stuff. 11 years old or so. (and I used Xampp only as a fileserver between laptop and desktop later, because.. PHP4... just no.)
As 12 years old or so I experienced my first World of Warcraft (vanilla) on a custom server in an internet cafe and I thought it's a singleplayer game. When I found out that no, I googled how to make my own server (hated multiplayer back then and loved good games with huge storylines). Failed miserably with ManGOS, got something to work with ArcEMU. There I learned some C++ basic stuff, which I hoped would helped me to fix some bugs. When I opened the code I was like: "Suuure." and left it like that. I learned what a MySQL database is, broke it like four times when I forgot WHERE and still rather played with websites i.e. html, css, js and optionally php when I wanted to repair a webpage for the server. With a friend we managed to get the server work via Hamachi, was fun, the server died too soon. Then I got ManGOS to work, but there wasn't really any interest to make a server anymore, just singleplayer for the lore. (big warcraft fan, don't kick me :D )
I think it was when I was 13y.o. I went to Delphi/Pascal course, which I liked a lot from the beginning, even managed to use my code on old Knoppix via Lazarus(Pascal). At this age I really liked thoae Flash games which were still common to see everywhere. So I downloaded .swfs, opened and tried to understand it. Managed to pull some stuff from it and rewrite in Pascal. Nope, never again that crap.
About the same time I got to Flash files I discovered Java. It was kind of popular back then, so I thought let's give it a try. I liked Flash more. Seriously. I've never seen so much repetitiveness and stupid styling of a code. I had either IDE for compiling C++ or Pascal or notepad! You think I wanted my code kicked all over the place in multiple folders and files? No.
So back to Pascal. I made some apps for my old hobby, was quite satisfied with the result (quiz like app), but it still wasn't the thing. And I really thought I'd like to study CS.
I started to love PHP because of phpBB forums I worked on as 15 y.o. I guess. At the same time I think there was an optional subject at school, again with Pascal. I hated the subject, teacher spoke some kind of gibberish I didn't really understand back then at all and now I find it only as a really stupid explanation of loops and strings.
So I started to hate Pascal subject, but not really the lang itself. Still I wanted something simpler and more portable. Then I got to Python as hm, 17y.o. I think and at the same time to C++ with DevC++. That was time when I was still deciding which lang to choose as my main one (still playing with website, database and js).
Then I decided that learning language from some teacher in a class seriously pisses me off and I don't want to experience it again. I choose Python, but still made some little scripts in C++, which is funny, because Python was considered only as a scripting lang back then.
I haven't really find a cross-platform framework for C++, which would: a) be easy to install b) not require VisualStudio PayForMe 20xy c) have nice license if I managed to make something nice and distribute it. I found Unity3D though, so I played with Blender for models, Audacity for music and C# for code. Only beautiful memories with Unity. I still haven't thought I'm a programmer back then.
For Python however I found Kivy and I was playing with it on a phone for about a year. Still I haven't really know what to do back then, so I thought... I like math, numbers, coding, but I want to avoid studying physics. Economics here I go!
Now I'm in my third year at Uni, should be writing thesis, study hard and what I do? Code like never before, contribute, work on a 3D tutorial and play with Blender. Still I don't really think about myself as a programmer, rather hobby-coder.
So, to answer the question: how did I learn to program? Bashing to shit until it behaved like I desired i.e. try-fail learning. I wouldn't choose a different path.2
Look at the picture. I know what you're thinking...
* I executed save all in VisualStudio
* reset all changes in git
* cleaned working directory with git
* restarted VisualStudio
* double checked if it's the right file
* double checked if there are new changes in git
Fuck this. VisualStudio, you suck.
Where are you taking these informations from if not from the project file!?4
Today, I applied StyleCop Analyzer to our project codebase.
over 40k of warnings sounds like fun :D2
Fuck Visual Studio. Biggest cancer I have to face every goddamn day. I cannot imagine people actually pay for this piece of shit. It's like paying to get fucked in the ass. FUCK5
C++ development experience is absolute shit on Windows
Like using any IDE but VS (which is also shit cuz Micro$oft) to write anything in C++ is just absolute shit.10
Suddenly VisualStudio throws "Attempted TextBuffer edit operation while another edit is in progress." for every keystroke editing a C# source code that I could edit without a problem just a few minutes ago. WTF?!2
Those butterfly feelings when Visual Studio works without an error. Spent whole day troubleshooting MASM environment.
Recently saw that Visual Studio 2022 preview build, I guess 4 is here, so any idea if this one is more stable? Like I had the 3rd preview build and sh!t was the worst. Felt like riding a bullock cart. Even the indent guides vanished outta nowhere. So guys?1