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Aaron N. Tubbs

Dragon chaser.

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  • “Beyond reproach” and “above reproach” seem to be interchangeable, and at least according to google seem to pop up in roughly the same quantity. That said, google only seems to recognize “beyond reproach” as a phrase in and of itself. I can’t seem to find a quick link to any cunning linguists discussing the differences in these two phrases, and indeed in many cases I find biblical debates peppered with both phrases. If any of you folks out there have any familiarity with these phrases or any distinctions between the two, I would appreciate it.
  • I learned that one can define pragmatic as “guided by experience rather than theory.” With all of this excitement about pragmatic programming, (I need to read the book on the topic that I’ve had in my library for two years) I think it’s good to remember that. A good reminder that if one is intending to go into the workforce, and not remain in academia, school will only get you so far.
  • There is a big hoopla around Ruby, that quirky scripting language that only Europeans and Asians use, and Americans tend to ignore. The hubbub seems to be most prevalent in recent weeks/months because of Ruby on Rails, and a general recognition of the language on American soil. It’s been a few months since I’ve taught myself the basics (or anything further) of a new language, so I decided I may as well figure out why everybody loves Ruby, and then why Ruby on Rails is genius. Last time I tried this, I learned the fundamentals of C# (I decided to first build an RSS aggregator, which taught me how C# does HTTP, XML parsing, and XSLT transformation, all of which was pretty easy; then I built a file archiver, which reminded me why Perl is much better suited for quick dirty automation work). While I’ve done a lot of web work, I’ve not any familiarity with the model view architecture paradigm, so I’ll have to ramp on that at the same time. This is an artifact of not having been a huge java-for-the-web guy in the past, I suspect, as most of my work centered around CGI (C, Perl), PHP, and ASP (the old-school VBScript, was before .NET and the whole form interpretation of web sites contained therein). In any event, if you ignore the preceding thousand characters, what I learned today about Ruby is that at least on a philosophical level, Ruby aims to be pragmatic; to quote Ruby: The Pragmatic Programmer’s Guide.

Our job is to solve problems, not spoonfeed compilers, so we like dynamic languages that adapt to us, without arbitrary, rigid rules. We need clarity so we can communicate using our code. We value conciseness and the ability to express a requirement in code accurately and efficiently. The less code we write, the less that can go wrong. (And our wrists and fingers are thankful, too.)