During an email exchange, I did a Google search for “hundreds of frameworks and languages” and got an unexpected result; a link to this list of computer programing language. I like Bradley’s breakdown of the list into categories. Looking at that list, I felt a bit of nostalgia.

I learned and developed in the following programming computer languages over my lifetime.

  • BASIC
  • Pascal
  • C
  • Perl
  • PHP
  • JavaScript

I learned the following computer languages but I have not developed anything meaningful in those languages.

  • C++
  • Java
  • Objective-C
  • Python

And according to this article, I can claim to know the following scripting languages and markup languages.

  • Awk
  • Tcl
  • HTML
  • XML
  • XHTML

Wow! That’s already too many.

I have forgotten how to use most of these. I think that if I had a project to work on, I could reprise my proficiency in Perl, PHP, and Javascript for web development as well as systems management and systems integration. But I think my favourite language had been and maybe always will be Perl. When I coded, Perl let me be me. It didn’t get in the way. It didn’t enforce rules dictated by computer science theory. It was said of Perl, that “there is more than one way to do it”. I love the subtitle of the book Learning Perl, “Making Easy Things Easy and Hard Things Possible”.

Every time I tell myself “I will write my WordPress theme”, I start learning about what is required and … I quit. I feel overwhelmed and demotivated by the amount of effort. I already know PHP (but my skills are rusty), and with some time and effort, I think I could learn the WordPress Codex. But … CSS. Argh! That would take a lot of time for me to learn.

And I want this theme support microformats2. Another learning curve. So as I see it I have three learning curves to climbs:

  • WordPress Codex
  • CSS
  • microformats 2

I think the issue is one of time. Assuming I could dedicate 1-2 hours a week (between work, wife, and kid, I have little time) to learning each of those, how long would it take? Assuming a week to learn each one, it could take me years.

In reality, I have no interest in learning how to create a WordPress theme. What I want is a minimalist and elegant WordPress theme that supports microformats 2.

Programming, Code, Coding, Programmer, Javascript

Yesterday, Facebook announced Hack, a new language that also runs on HHVM. It’s like a “PHP++” — it adds optional static typing, generics, and a bunch of other enhancements and conveniences to PHP. Unlike HHVM, adopting Hack is a huge risk. HHVM was great because you could switch to it and switch away from it freely, with almost no effort (especially to switch away). You were still writing PHP. But once you convert a file to Hack and use any of its new features, it’s no longer valid PHP, so you must always use Hack and HHVM from that point forward (or undertake an expensive rewrite).Hack Isn’t PHP – Marco.org

Be careful not to be locked-in.