A couple of years ago, I helped run a Software Carpentry instructor training class in Florida. Part-way through the second day, one of the participants asked me if their team should use Python or R for a project. Condensed, my reply was that Python was a general-purpose language that had some good numerical libraries, while R was “just” a statistical tool that people had started using for other things.
The workshop’s host called me out for saying this, and was right to do so. Programmers sneer at one another’s languages—Python at R, Ruby at Perl, Lisp at everyone and everyone at Visual Basic—and they’re all wrong to do so. Some languages are easier for novices to learn than others, but once you have reflection and garbage collection, there’s precious little evidence that the other differences matter.
Except I don’t ever want to have to write a parser again. Except I don’t ever want to have to create quadtrees from scratch, or decode PNGs, or any of a hundred thousand other things. I want libraries. I want to be able to build on the work of a million other programmers and know that if I make something useful I’ll be able to give it back to them in turn. I want debuggers and linters and a package manager (though I’m resigned to the fact that I’ll probably have several) and I don’t want to have to write any of them.
Has anyone built a replacement for Jekyll in JS that provides React-like syntax and semantics?
If you haven’t run into Jekyll yet, it’s the tool that GitHub Pages uses to transform templated Markdown and HTML into pure HTML for display. It’s written in Ruby, but is showing its age, and it was only ever three quarters of a good idea. While playing around with React earlier this year, I came to enjoy its mostly-functional model.