I may have worded that poorly, abstract reasons to choose a language was
exactly what I was looking for.
Your suggestion matches my natural inclinations, I think I just needed some
reassurance that taking the time to explore wouldn't be a waste of time.
Thank you. =)
On Tue, Jan 5, 2010 at 7:13 PM, Ross Singer <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I realize you didn't want to start a religious war nor were you
> interested in the abstract reasons people chose a particular language,
> that being said...
> I honestly think choosing the best* development language is very
> similar to how one settles on politics, religion, diet, etc.
> Environment plays a part, of course, but, in the end, what generally
> works best is the language that jibes best with you and your
> personality. Since you've dabbled with several different languages,
> you've had to have come across this - some languages just "feel
> better" than others. This is, however, an entirely personal choice.
> Dan Chudnov, for example, seems to think in Python. When I tried
> Python, it never really clicked -- I muddled through a few projects
> but never really got it. I then got introduced to Ruby, everything
> made sense, and I never looked back. I recently did a project in
> Groovy/Grails and my takeaway was that it was a scripting language
> that only somebody that had spent their career as a Java developer
> could love. My coworker (who has spent his career as a Java
> developer) LOVES Groovy. He thinks Ruby is a Fisher-Price language.
> To each their own.
> Since you don't seem to have institutional constraints on what you can
> develop in, I would recommend you try something like this:
> Take a handful of languages that look interesting to you and try
> writing a simple app to take some of your data, model it and shove it
> into Solr and make an interface to look at it. Solr's pretty perfect
> for this sort of project: it's super simple to work with and
> immediately gives you something powerful and versatile to wrap your
> app around. If you can't make something useful quickly around Solr,
> then move on to the next language because that one's not for you.
> If the ones that click happen to be PHP, Python or Ruby, well, there
> you go. If not, I, for one, look forward to your new Lua (or
> whatever) based discovery interface.
> Ultimately, any project you choose for your discovery interface is
> going to require a lot of customization to make it work the way you
> want -- the key is finding the environment that stands the least in
> the way between turning what's in your head into a working app.
> Good luck,
> On Tue, Jan 5, 2010 at 6:04 PM, marijane white <[log in to unmask]>
> > Greetings Code4Lib,
> > Long time lurker, first time poster here.
> > I've been turning over this question in my mind for a few weeks now, and
> > Hourcle's postscript in the Online PHP Course thread has prompted me to
> > finally try to ask it. =)
> > I'm interested in hearing how the members of this list have gone about
> > choosing development platforms for their library coding projects and/or
> > existing open source projects (ie like VuFind vs Blacklight). For
> > did you choose a language you already were familiar with? One you wanted
> > learn more about? Does your workplace have a standard enterprise
> > architecture/platform that you are required to use? If you have chosen
> > implement an existing open source project, did you choose based on the
> > development platform or project maturity and features or something else?
> > Some background -- thanks to my undergraduate computer engineering
> > I have a pretty solid understanding of programming fundamentals, but most
> > my pre-LIS work experience was in software testing and did not require me
> > employ much of what I learned programming-wise, so I've mostly dabbled
> > the last decade or so. I've got a bit of experience with a bunch of
> > languages and I'm not married to any of them. I also kind of like
> > excuses to learn new ones.
> > My situation is this: I would like to eventually implement a discovery
> > at MPOW, but I am having a hell of a time choosing one. I'm a solo
> > librarian on a content team at a software and information services
> > so I'm not really tied to the platforms used by the software engineering
> > teams here. I know a bit of Ruby, so I've played with Blacklight some,
> > it to install on Windows and managed to import a really rough Solr index.
> > I'm more attracted to the features in VuFind, but I don't know much PHP
> > and I haven't gotten it installed successfully yet. My collection's
> > metadata is not in an ILS (yet) and not in MARC, so I've also considered
> > trying out more generic approaches like ajax-solr (though I don't know a
> > Scriblio. My options are wide open, and I'm having a rough time deciding
> > what direction to go in. I guess it's kind of similar to someone who is
> > to programming and attempting to choose their first language to learn.
> > I will attempt to head off a programming language religious war =) by
> > stating that I'm not really interested in the virtues of one platform
> > another, moreso the abstract reasons one might have for selecting one.
> > Have any of you ever been in a similar situation? How'd you get yourself
> > unstuck? If you haven't, what do you think you might do in a situation
> > mine?
> > -marijane