The Nature of Fun and Programming

The second time I went to college it was at Western Washington University in Bellingham. I entered the computer science program. The language that they taught the introductory courses in was called ADA. The language was designed by the military and it was a pretty good language.

It didn't have pointer problems like C and it was self-consistent. If you wanted to design a working program it was a very good choice.

I hated ADA. It had no bindings for graphics libraries, which basically meant that it couldn't be used to make games or fun and entertaining things. It was a language that as far as I could tell was only useful for work.

I fought with the professors over it. They wanted to keep using it. I told them that it was killing their program because students were bored and uninspired for the first few years. In the past they had used C and C++. They were useful languages but prone to being used to create accidentally buggy code. I suggested Python.

When I graduated from Western, my friends and I took a trip to Oregon. We burned the textbooks that we hated the most. I burned that one.

I believe in the long run that they did eliminate ADA from the curriculum.

It wasn't the fault of the language though. It was a good and complete language. The fault if there was one lie in the fact that people doing fun things weren't using it. Who knows. I could have changed that if I had known. I would now. The language was good.

But I have changed a lot since then. These days I write in Go, which is a good language for those working with others. I also write in Javascript, because there is no way around it.

I think I made a mistake with ADA though. Maybe I should see if there are still compilers out there for it. How dead is it?

If a language isn't fun, it's not fault of the language. You can change it, if the language is well-designed and complete.

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