Re: Breather

1

I hope that some part of the second half includes "don't use mongo".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-21-16 8:15 PM
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Up to us. I think a lot of groups use it because it's easy to set up and forgiving to use for a small site. Why don't you like it?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-21-16 8:18 PM
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But it's webscale!


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-21-16 8:18 PM
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Why use MongoDB when you could just store your data in dev/null?


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 02-21-16 8:22 PM
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It's great for losing data. I actually haven't used it in a long time but it has a very bad reputation w/r/t the guarantees it offers. It also, like a lot of NoSQL data stores, doesn't let you do cross-document joins, which really limits what you can do. Just use Postgres.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-21-16 8:24 PM
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I've heard good things about Postgres.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-21-16 8:26 PM
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Through some combination of breezy documentation, unclear configuration parameters, lax defaults, and bona fide bugs, MongoDB has historically had a tough time meeting the four traditional properties one usually wants from a database: atomicity, consistency, isolation, and durability.

@aphyr is invaluable: https://aphyr.com/posts/284-jepsen-mongodb

Long story short: you'll want to think hard before using MongoDB as the system of record for data for which you cannot tolerate loss or corruption.


Posted by: criminally vulgar | Link to this comment | 02-21-16 8:30 PM
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In seriousness, there are three things, Ogged:

1. Document stores like MongoDB are best suited for certain classes of problems.
2. MongoDB was hilariously broken under a lot of reasonably plausible circumstances; people who needed the things MongoDB was good at often ended up choosing a similar system built by someone else (notably Cassandra).
3. Early MongoDB (and NoSQL more generally, but particularly MongoDB) enthusiasts/evangelists were, uh, very enthusiastic, thus the "but it's webscale!" joke.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-21-16 8:31 PM
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3 and 8 were me.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02-21-16 8:31 PM
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Well, I see we all read the same commentary on distributed data stores.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02-21-16 8:38 PM
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Another vote for Postgres. Never had a problem, although installs used to be annoying.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 02-21-16 8:39 PM
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I do hope that you are at least getting a proper grounding in SQL before going into NoSQL.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-21-16 8:58 PM
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I don't think proper groundings in anything are part of the game plan here.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-21-16 9:02 PM
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I'd vote for MySQL over Postgres based on the "installs not annoying" grounds and because he documentation is superb. Although I guess its called "MariaDB" now because fuck Oracle?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-21-16 9:04 PM
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That's basically right. The bar for retaining information is higher than you'd expect though. We've had closed book assessments where we've had to fully diagram the tables and joins for a hypothetical situation. Not a proper grounding, but not clueless either. And mongo was just one example, of course we've used SQL databases, too.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-21-16 9:08 PM
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15 to 13, perhaps obviously.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-21-16 9:08 PM
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Oh, I have a question. Most people in the program default to deploying on heroku, because that's what gets used in one of the sprints, but is there something clearly better? I'm intrigued by Firebase.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-21-16 9:11 PM
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Oh wait, Firebase is noSQL by default, with no other option. Nevermind. Too bad, because they make authentication really easy, and at least at this point, I find authentication pretty mysterious/difficult.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-21-16 9:24 PM
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I feel like I should be thinking about doing some kind of coding bootcamp, but on nights and weekends.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 02-21-16 11:09 PM
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Some of those exist. Bloc.io and something Foundry. Career Foundry, maybe?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-21-16 11:42 PM
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I miss pair programming. :-(


Posted by: X. Trapnel | Link to this comment | 02-22-16 12:15 AM
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Definitely not "learn this really well" as much as "get used to making things work that you barely understand.

Welcome to software! Seriously, you know that app you wonder how it got like that? That's how that app got like that.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 02-22-16 4:43 AM
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7 is not me! I like mongoDB.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 02-22-16 5:36 AM
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22 is the inside truth about 99% of software development.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 02-22-16 5:49 AM
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It also, like a lot of NoSQL data stores, doesn't let you do cross-document joins, which really limits what you can do.


This thread made me peak at the documentation for the latest release, and it has added a basic join to the aggregation framework:

https://docs.mongodb.org/master/reference/operator/aggregation/lookup/#pipe._S_lookup



Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 02-22-16 6:03 AM
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"get used to making things work that you barely understand."

This is more or less my programming approach. Maybe more like "Find half-understood code online that sort-of does what you want and modify it."

I'm thinking of taking a MOOC course on object oriented programming this summer. So far OOP seems to me like a vastly more complicated and confusing way of doing things, but hopefully I can clear this up. I'm uncomfortable with OOP mostly because I can't see how it works at the level of silicon. I'm comfortable enough with machine code because the connection to the hardware is pretty obvious. More abstract programming languages and methods make me increasingly nervous that I'm just trusting a giant stack of other people's work.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-22-16 6:20 AM
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26

OOP has traditionally been hard to get ones head around, for some values of head. I would guess that most people encounter OOP first via Java, which until recently didn't allow methods to be first class objects. Trying to do simple functional programming patterns (map-reduce...) without first class methods is tedious and more than a little counter-intuitive.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 02-22-16 6:36 AM
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I guess that once you go applying for fresh-out-of-bootcamp type jobs, you aren't going to have much choice in the framework/database you end up using anyway. So it does make sense to cover as many of them as possible so you are able to check the widest array of boxes on your resume. And to have the experience of getting up to speed on a new technology in a short time-frame.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-22-16 6:47 AM
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get used to making things work that you barely understand."

STARTUP LYFE WOOO


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-22-16 7:43 AM
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Definitely not "learn this really well" as much as "get used to making things work that you barely understand.
Welcome to software!

And life, for that matter.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-22-16 7:48 AM
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This is more or less my programming approach. Maybe more like "Find half-understood code online that sort-of does what you want and modify it."

Hey, that's what I do! Does this mean that I can call myself a programmer after all?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02-22-16 8:10 AM
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It feels like being repeatedly thrown in the deep end, with only (often shockingly poorly written) docs, vague instructions, and a tight deadline.

yes, that's the job.


Posted by: cleek | Link to this comment | 02-22-16 8:12 AM
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32: at this point I realise I've been speaking prose writing code all my life.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-22-16 8:13 AM
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Okay, the point has been made that "get used to making things work that you barely understand" is indeed the name of the game. A few addendums to that: 1. Not just startups! 2. It's when you think you really do understand something that you're going to get in trouble.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 02-22-16 9:41 AM
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3. Off-by-one errors.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 02-22-16 9:42 AM
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29: That's developer life, period. If you knew how it worked it'd already be done, and be done correctly.

35: Sometimes I think I'm a pretty crappy dev and not really growing at all, but then I remember I make many fewer off-by-one errors than I did a decade ago. I think that's really all you can ask for.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-22-16 10:11 AM
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36:

I stopped making off-by-one errors almost entirely (because I work in Python).


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 02-22-16 11:03 AM
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We have a tool where values are internally zero-indexed (because Java) but exposed to the user as one indexed (because they like it like that), leading to all sorts of fun conversion issues.

While language/library choice can reduce fencepost errors, it certainly can't eliminate them; I think they're fundamental to some problems.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-22-16 11:17 AM
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Sometimes I think I'm a pretty crappy dev and not really growing at all, but then I remember I make many fewer off-by-one errors than I did a decade ago.

Heh. I have days like that.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-22-16 11:20 AM
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More seriously, I think the OP sounds like excellent skills for the bootcamp to be teaching.

I will say, one of the things I like about my work environment is that both myself, my co-workers (and many of our contacts as the big multi-national that we work with) stay in their positions for a long time. So while I have the experience of trying to make something work with minimal documentation, I also then have to field questions about it any time something doesn't work, and after a couple of years of that I get to know it fairly well (and, thankfully, I can do the same thing to other people -- ask the person who wrote something six years ago to investigate an issue and figure out what's going on).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-22-16 11:49 AM
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Also, good luck to Ogged in the second half, and I would treat the projects as your chance to dive deeper into the concepts or technologies that you breezed through in your short sprints but want to explore more. Except for authentication. Let someone else do that.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 02-22-16 12:03 PM
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40: My environment's like that as well. I'm in the lower half of time on my subteam (n=4) and I've been here for almost nine years. It's nice. On the other hand, we've had a lot of externally driven changes that mean that the answer for why something is weird is often "it made sense at the time."


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-22-16 12:24 PM
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40/42: I used to work in an environment like that and I miss it. But if I went back to a place like that I'd probably miss other things.


Posted by: sral | Link to this comment | 02-22-16 4:03 PM
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44

I find authentication pretty mysterious/difficult.

You and me and everyone else on the planet.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 02-22-16 9:13 PM
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I tried Googling "OAuth2 is a miserable failure" and got results about George W. Bush. Yeesh.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 02-22-16 9:15 PM
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26: In general C++ is a horrible monstrosity, but The Design and Evolution of C++ is a great resource for understanding how an OO language works from the ground up. Other languages just rip most of the knobs off the control panel.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 02-22-16 9:22 PM
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47

Neither C++ nor Java is an object-oriented language.


Posted by: OPINIONATED ALAN KAY | Link to this comment | 02-22-16 9:31 PM
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You can tell because they don't have proper tail calls (cf.).


Posted by: Reserved Guy Steele | Link to this comment | 02-22-16 9:32 PM
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49

3. Off-by-one errors.

5. Scope creep.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-22-16 9:44 PM
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So, programming without adequate documentation is a vital skill, no question, but we have failed as engineers if shitty documentation has become such an ingrained habit that we train for adapting to it rather than fixing it. In my utopia, for every five or six coders, there's one dude whose job it is to write things down. Sumer managed it, why can't we?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 02-22-16 10:05 PM
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All these lovable foibles of the coding lifestyle seem like they could be improved if they would hire 1/3 more people and pay them merely outlandish salaries instead of outlandish + 33%.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-22-16 11:23 PM
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Meh, a lot of the stuff you hear about is somewhat blunted by Bay Area/NYC cost of living. Salaries are nothing to complain about everywhere else in the country but not really obscene.

The way to do it is to live somewhere cheap but tolerable and get a remote job at a Bay Area company. Then you make Bay Area $$$ without the cost of living increase. I know a couple people who have done that.


Posted by: Trivers | Link to this comment | 02-23-16 12:04 AM
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DISRUPT GEOGRAPHY


Posted by: fake accen | Link to this comment | 02-23-16 12:18 AM
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Since I give 110% when I code, I make off-by-two errors.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-23-16 12:39 AM
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47. "No true object oriented language..."

50. Yes. Even when documentation exists it is usually just a compendium of all the commands/features/flags/etc., rather than saying anything even remotely near the "Why?" of a method or class or message or what-have-you.

Resources like StackOverflow have actually made it easier to skimp on documentation. Why write anything beyond the minimum when any question will be answered there? Except for fiddly detail stuff that isn't covered by my IDE I usually end up at StackOverflow. It is usually the first couple of results returned by Google.

Of course none of this is true about internally developed proprietary code. You can always ask the authors about that ... until they leave for another company. Oops.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 02-23-16 6:35 AM
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re: 50

My place tries, and we are getting better* but we are funded by the state, or through funding bids generated by academics.** So no fucker ever wants to pay for anything, and every single part of IT costings is quibbled or top-sliced.

* one of my new jobs is to make everybody get better.

** who are basically arseholes,*** when it comes to this sort of thing.

*** not you, academic who might work with us/me, and who accidentally stumbles across this. You are a paragon.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-23-16 7:24 AM
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47. "No true object oriented language..."

I would be more sympathetic to that line of rebuttal if there weren't clearly things that do qualify as object-oriented languages by Kay's lights, such as, unsurprisingly, Smalltalk.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-23-16 8:10 AM
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Sumer managed it, why can't we?

But if Sumerian code was all that, why do we all write Akkadian?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-23-16 9:05 AM
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oh ttaM -- I am in the very-merely-dreaming phase of trying to get a grant for something that would involve connecting people who make (user-unfriendly, poorly-documented, weirdly implemented) tools for digital research in the humanities with (a) the idea that they should incorporate project management and UX into their budgets and plans, and (b) people who can help them figure out how to do that better. Maybe I could get you to come give a talk!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-23-16 9:10 AM
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You and me and everyone else on the planet.

A couple guys on our team got it working no problem, which is to say that one of the most salient parts of the bootcamp experience is how often I feel like the dumb kid. Some things I get and can do, no problem, but generally speaking, "programming" is not quite in my aptitude wheelhouse, and it very much is for some of the other people in the group, so there's been a lot of "wait, how did you know to do that?" in my pair sessions. The concepts generally aren't difficult, but there are so many different tools, each with their own syntax, and my 40-something brain is much more sieve than sponge.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-23-16 9:10 AM
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I hyphenate capriciously.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-23-16 9:11 AM
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generally speaking, "programming" is not quite in my aptitude wheelhouse

FWIW, "debugging" is more in my aptitude wheelhouse than the initial "creating something from scratch" part of "programming."

Thankfully programming is mostly debugging so I don't think that's a problem.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-23-16 9:16 AM
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re: 59

I'm currently trying to get people who write funding bids and project plans that involve us doing work, to actually f&cking talk to us before they apply for funding.

'Hi, we have a £20K grant from $foo, we want to build [gigantic, feature rich tool to work with complicated 'dirty' data], we've budgeted £12K for us to publicise ourselves and our research, and we have £5K for you to do all of the work.'


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-23-16 9:27 AM
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I hyphenate capriciously.

If it's seven letters, it might be DASHING.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-23-16 9:52 AM
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I wish I was in the habit of commenting. I used to think of it as the last step but I've since learned that no program is ever finished. Now my problem is that most comments I'd write are superfluous; my code is just too clear and self-explanatory.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-23-16 10:23 AM
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Relative to my prose, anyway.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-23-16 10:25 AM
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I am pretty good at having explanatory docstrings, inline comments, and so on. I write them as I go, so it's not an afterthought. It's more the putting-in-context and explaining-why stuff that lives outside the code that I tend to be a bit slack about. I usually write it, but it often ends up as a txt file in a git repo, rather than nicely formatted in our wiki or knowledge management system.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-23-16 10:38 AM
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62: Ditto about debugging. I consider it my greatest skill, as I am so good at regular bugging.

65: Sometimes I write comments first, as an outline, and then fill it in with code (with additional comments for tricky or unintuitive bits). I find this works pretty well.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-23-16 11:33 AM
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68: My thinking, such as it is, is highly non-verbal, so starting with a description is a good way for me to grind to a halt.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-23-16 11:41 AM
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I am procrastinating badly, and making slow progress, on my current task precisely because it does involve creating something new. In this case, an administrative interface to configure new functionality. The interface isn't complicated, but working on it I keep pausing because I'll start looking forward to imagine exactly how this piece is going to be used and how it will fit into the existing code.

All of that is part of the process, and legitimate work, but part of me feels like I'd be better off if I could just buckle down, finish the interface, and then have something to play with as I think about the rest of the stuff.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-23-16 11:44 AM
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looking forward to imagine exactly how this piece is going to be used
Oh god, the human interface. If I go down this road I inevitably conclude that every command line should be Turing complete. I'm not the most productive coder ever.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-23-16 11:48 AM
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||
This article about the dumb thing Carson said about the President is worth it for the picture and caption of Obama.
|>


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 02-23-16 1:31 PM
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... unsurprisingly, Smalltalk

"No true object oriented language is ... actually used by anyone."


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 02-23-16 2:01 PM
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