Although I don't always agree with some of his opinions on programming, Joel Spolsky's marketing skills have to be admired. In his most recent post Language Wars, Joel argues that when it comes to picking a computer language for a project you are best off picking the mainstream language you know best. Nothing revolutionary there.
Along the way however he slams LISP and criticizes Ruby for not being suitable for commercial programming, citing failed projects, maturity and performance. As probably anyone who reads this knows, programmers can become extremely devoted to their language of choice (which is silly because .NET is obviously the best) and so they tend to get very fired up when their beloved is insulted. The beauty of Joel's post is he then cleverly baits those that he has annoyed by saying that his company has created its own in house language, something that runs completely against picking a safe choice he argued earlier. Subtle tongue in cheek most likely (at least I hope), but at the same time not entirely impossible. Either way Joel doesn't try to explain or justify this paradox in his post and so combines the aggrieved LISP and Ruby developers with ammunition to counter-attack, creating a feeding frenzy of posts, links and hits.
- Joel, you have got to be kidding
- Joel Gets Hammered
- Language Wars
- The Joel Wars
- If they have not seen farther...
- Joel on Language Wars
- Joel Spolsky run over by train. Pictures at 11.
- Serious business stuff T-shirt
- Fear, Uncertain[ty], and Doubt by Joel Spolsky (by David Heinemeier Hansson, creator of Ruby on Rails!)
- Was Joel's Wasabi a joke? (a follow-up by David Heinemeier Hansson)
Update Part Deux: