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    They were also skeptical that Meyer’s vision for personalizing nytimes.com would end with the addition of a username.

    These developers have been around the block a few times…

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      At the studio we’ve been using homegrown languages for over 10 years now, and it allowed us to move fast and adapt quickly to the evolving Web platform. There’s definitely a cost in terms of training and maintenance, but it’s well worth it as it gives a lot of freedom, and saves from a world of pain when the OSS tool/library that you’re using has issues/missing features that you can’t fix or add. I’m glad to read about other success stories of growing your own tools.

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        Not surprised at all. Industry obsesses with “standards”/“best practices” because they emphasize repeatability and lowering risk over productivity and results.

        Which isn’t wrong, but it is far from optimal. Some of it feels more like blame-shifting on an individual and institutional level.

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        While it had a reputation for being fast and reliable, Context was also controversial. Engineers bristled at having to learn a programming language only used at The Times. Only a few learned enough to help add new features or extend its abilities. Recruiting new engineers was sometimes a challenge because candidates had to accept that they were joining an organization with a homegrown programming language and build system. Looking back, Damens and Karlin regret not picking an existing syntax of a language, like PHP, to make it easier to adopt.

        This was 2001. It seems stuff like this still happens.

        It’d be nice to see some actual Context code…you know, for context.

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          I’ve always found learning the syntax and semantics of a new language to be one of the easiest things to learn.

          The hard part is always learning the frameworks, libraries, and business processes. I find it sad when a developer gets upset over learning a new or obscure language for a job.

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            I think my issue is more with the whole “reinventing the wheel” thing. I don’t mind coming up with smart solutions, but my issue is when you get too clever when you do it. That regret they had about not going for a more common syntax hampered their whole endeavor of wider adoption.

            I agree overall with you about learning libraries etc etc.

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              I’m not sure wider adoption was a goal here.

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                well, within the org I think it was. Why mention regrets about making it easier to learn if you don’t want people to learn it?

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              I think my issue is more with the whole “reinventing the wheel” thing. I don’t mind coming up with smart solutions, but my issue is when you get too clever when you do it. That regret they had about not going for a more common syntax hampered their whole endeavor of wider adoption.

              I agree overall with you about learning libraries etc etc.