Life 05 Nov 2020

I admit it has been a while, but for once not from inactivity. Without any dwelling let’s dive into what I have been up to.

I mentioned in previous posts I was taking a look at Lisp. Common Lisp is pretty cool but a month or so in it became clear is wasn’t quite what I was after. I like certain aspects of it but as always dynamically typed languages suffer from a deployment problem.

Lisp hits the mark in so many ways but fails in some other ways, like distribution of the created apps. It could be I am missing something but I am really looking a programming language that lets me easy target all platforms that interest me. That’s Android, the 3 desktop platforms and WebAssembly. Will I ever target all of them? Unlikely but I don’t want options limited.

My use cases are really exploratory programming but where I might want to convert it to something that others can at least play with for 10 minutes. Heavy duty complicated stuff is covered by C++/Rust so I am looking for dynamically typed language with fast iteration and the ability to tighten up the mess I have made if needed.

My instinct is Ruby is mostly like to achieve this in the mid term but it is not close at the moment. Perhaps Python will susprise me.

So where does that leave Lisp and me?

Well I like it but for now it’s a language I like knowing enough of that I can read books where it is used as the implementation language for ideas. I plan to finish ANSI lisp and will read OnLisp.

Coding wise I have dived back into Rust and am messing with a few interpreter ideas.

Speaking of which. Rust has got over the one hurdle that was making me dislike it, well at least for the small projects I have been working on. That is compile times, it finally feels about the same as C++ which is my upper limit on compile times in a programming language. I wonder if C++ has also gotten slower shifting the bar Rust needed to cross. I am using rust to mess around with interpreter implementations.

The Rust compiler does more checking as it compiles so it is hard to justify C++ over Rust for new projects. Both are complicated languages so if you favour simplicity in you language neither are appropriate.

Actual life

In real life, the UK is bouncing in and out of lock downs in a way that smells of us not really knowing what they are doing. I suppose if we have transparent government I could figure out if that statement was true of whether I am just not aware of all the details.

It certainly seems the UK government struggles with problems like this. I don’t rate Covid as a difficult problems compared with climate change or impending automation of many parts of the Job market. That thought triggers a little bit of dread in me.

Judge from how other EU countries are coping with Covid it appears misery does indeed love company.

Personally being in the IT industry has meant working from home for the past 7 months. This is a bit of a roller coaster between “Every thing is awesome” to “Oh my, when will this end”. I certainly appreciate the fact my career choice has enabled me to continue to work compared with many people I know.

On a more positive note, I have finally resolved to get back into running. It has taken a while for my desire to run to return. I have spent most of the year with walking as my primary form of exercise.


619 Words

2020-11-05 16:27 +0000