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Eighth Language

Eric Jonlus
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 25, 2007
Posts: 3
Was there any language that made you consider making this an eight language book? If so, why did you choose to drop it?
Bruce Tate
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 04, 2002
Posts: 71
Eric Jonlus wrote:Was there any language that made you consider making this an eight language book? If so, why did you choose to drop it?


GREAT QUESTION!

I considered some of the Microsoft languages, and another prototype language (Lua, Self) instead of Io. Self in particular from that list looked interesting.

Factor would have been very cool. Python has been high on my list for a long time, but I've only dabbled in it. Smalltalk deserves mention in a book like this one. Google's Go would have been great (though it would have been a bit early), or some other stack-based language like PostScript.

I never really second guessed the list. If there's enough interest, I'll definitely write another one.

Thanks for the question! My favorite of the day, so far.


First rule of Kayak: When in doubt, paddle like Hell
Hussein Baghdadi
clojure forum advocate
Bartender

Joined: Nov 08, 2003
Posts: 3479

Yes indeed IMVHO, Smalltalk was a better option than Ruby since Ruby is already known and a mainstream language.
Paul Clapham
Bartender

Joined: Oct 14, 2005
Posts: 18907
    
    8

Anyway, seven is the official magic number for Western European civilization. Ever wonder why the rainbow contains indigo and violet when you can barely see one purple let alone two? Because it had to have seven colours, not six. If you're going to pick a small random number to raise as your flag then seven is a much better choice than six or eight.
Christophe Verré
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 24, 2005
Posts: 14688
    
  16

Paul Clapham wrote:Anyway, seven is the official magic number for Western European civilization.

Like the Seventh son of a seventh son :)


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Vijitha Kumara
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Joined: Mar 24, 2008
Posts: 3855

And welcome to CodeRanch, Eric Jonlus


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chris webster
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Joined: Mar 01, 2009
Posts: 1851
    
  16

Christophe Verré wrote:
Paul Clapham wrote:Anyway, seven is the official magic number for Western European civilization.

Like the Seventh son of a seventh son :)


Totally off-topic, I know, but the "magic 7" thing is linked to the ancients being able to see 7 "planets": sun, moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, their names preserved in the 7 days of the week in many European languages.

Bruce's book sounds fascinating - got to get me a copy!


No more Blub for me, thank you, Vicar.
Eric Jonlus
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 25, 2007
Posts: 3
John Todd wrote:Yes indeed IMVHO, Smalltalk was a better option than Ruby since Ruby is already known and a mainstream language.


I definitely would have been interested in Smalltalk as well, but it may have been best to include one well-known language. I don't know how much comparison between each language he does in the book, but having one language that a lot of people already are at least somewhat familiar with probably made it a bit easier.
Bruce Tate
Author
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Joined: Jun 04, 2002
Posts: 71
Paul Clapham wrote:Anyway, seven is the official magic number for Western European civilization. Ever wonder why the rainbow contains indigo and violet when you can barely see one purple let alone two? Because it had to have seven colours, not six. If you're going to pick a small random number to raise as your flag then seven is a much better choice than six or eight.


Believe it or not, I do think "seven" or "ten" are much more marketable than other numbers in the same range, so I absolutely agree with you. There's something mystic about 7.
Bruce Tate
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 04, 2002
Posts: 71
Bruce Tate wrote:
Paul Clapham wrote:Anyway, seven is the official magic number for Western European civilization. Ever wonder why the rainbow contains indigo and violet when you can barely see one purple let alone two? Because it had to have seven colours, not six. If you're going to pick a small random number to raise as your flag then seven is a much better choice than six or eight.


Believe it or not, I do think "seven" or "ten" are much more marketable than other numbers in the same range, so I absolutely agree with you. There's something mystic about 7.


Yes. I came to this realization as well. Ruby was slightly less known than the other object oriented alternatives, but was known to this reader base. My publisher, the Pragmatic Bookshelf, was started by the authors of the pickaxe book and Programming Rails, the best selling Ruby books of all time. I gave the user something that was slightly well known as a good foundation for the rest of the book.

I should add that I wanted to spend most of my research time on functional languages, not object oriented ones.

I considered going in another direction, but after we took the poll, Ruby was the very top language requested, so I went with my instinct.
Hussein Baghdadi
clojure forum advocate
Bartender

Joined: Nov 08, 2003
Posts: 3479

Bruce Tate wrote:
Paul Clapham wrote:Anyway, seven is the official magic number for Western European civilization. Ever wonder why the rainbow contains indigo and violet when you can barely see one purple let alone two? Because it had to have seven colours, not six. If you're going to pick a small random number to raise as your flag then seven is a much better choice than six or eight.


Believe it or not, I do think "seven" or "ten" are much more marketable than other numbers in the same range, so I absolutely agree with you. There's something mystic about 7.

http://www.johndcook.com/blog/2010/10/27/divisibility-by-7/
Campbell Ritchie
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 39865
    
  28
Paul Clapham wrote:Anyway, seven is the official magic number for Western European civilization. . . .
I didn't notice that when you first posted.

In the Bible, "seven" is the number of perfection. The Bible was largely written in the Near East, so the symbolism behind "seven" is much wider-spread, and much more ancient, than Western Europe.
Bruce Tate
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 04, 2002
Posts: 71
Campbell Ritchie wrote:
Paul Clapham wrote:Anyway, seven is the official magic number for Western European civilization. . . .
I didn't notice that when you first posted.

In the Bible, "seven" is the number of perfection. The Bible was largely written in the Near East, so the symbolism behind "seven" is much wider-spread, and much more ancient, than Western Europe.


I agree. Seventy times seven, for example.
 
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