February 06, 2003

Give scripting languages their due

Shipping the Prototype - Udell with another great column on why glue – and more importantly, agile glue – is so important when everything is moving lickety-split:

In a world of distributed services in constant flux, when does exploration stop? Why would you ever want to switch from a codebase that is concise, malleable, and easily maintainable to one that isn't?

And this:

My point is that languages like Python, but also Perl, Ruby, and JavaScript/JScript/ActionScript/EcmaScript, are strategic in ways that we don't yet fully acknowledge. As I mentioned last time, the classic phased life cycle of software development -- design/develop/test/deploy -- is dissolving into a continuous process. Change is the only constant; the services we create and use are always exploratory. Languages that express programmers' intentions in fewer lines of code are a huge productivity win. The deliverable code is easier to understand and maintain -- and so, crucially, is the test infrastructure that supports it.

Maintainability - malleability - testability. Not quite " Liberté - égalité - fraternité," but it'll do.

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