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InfoQ Homepage Presentations Introducing the Ceylon Project

Introducing the Ceylon Project

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Bio

Gavin King is the founder of the Hibernate project, the leading persistence solution for Java, and the creator of Seam, an application framework for Java EE 5. He leads JSR-299 (Web Beans) and was an active member of the JSR-220 (EJB 3.0) and JSR-250 (Common Annotations) expert groups, where he contributed heavily to the design of EJB 3.0 and JPA.

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QCon is a conference that is organized by the community, for the community.The result is a high quality conference experience where a tremendous amount of attention and investment has gone into having the best content on the most important topics presented by the leaders in our community.QCon is designed with the technical depth and enterprise focus of interest to technical team leads, architects, and project managers.

Recorded at:

Apr 26, 2011

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Community comments

  • Everybody wants to have his own language

    by jean-simon Larochelle /

  • Business Computing is an oxymoron

    by Jean-Jacques Dubray /

  • What happened here??

    by Hermann Schmidt /

  • The problem is not necessarily the age

    by Sami Kallio /

  • InfoQ deleted all the comments

    by Andrey Paramonov /

  • Thread Deleted, Sorry About That

    by Floyd Marinescu /

    • Re: Thread Deleted, Sorry About That

      by Dan Tines /

      • Re: Thread Deleted, Sorry About That

        by Gavin King /

      • Re: Thread Deleted, Sorry About That

        by Jim Nasium /

        • Everybody wants to have his own language

          by jean-simon Larochelle /

          Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

          Looking at the list of desirable features for a language in this presentation I can't help but notice that languages like Scala or even FXScript (whatever they call it these days) include most of them. Why not use Scala or FXScript.
          I don't think having "billions and billions" of languages will help the community. There already his a large number of languages running on the JVM.
          I did enjoy the presentation.
          Thanks.

        • Business Computing is an oxymoron

          by Jean-Jacques Dubray /

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          Gavin,

          I am glad to see that people are moving closer to "polyadic cogent" programming models.

          I am however quite disappointed to see hear the term "Business Computing". 99% of all usage of computers is as an "Information System", i.e to maintain and retrieve state. The remaining 1% is on computing, yet 100% of computer programming languages focus on "Computing".

          I would wholeheartedly encourage you to go all the way, again if your goal is to focus on "business", and introduce concepts such as rules, events, processes, not just UIs but "activities", services ... Providing a declarative way to define tables and "screens" is a complete waste of everyone's time.

          I wrote this article a couple of years ago that maybe of interest to you: www.infoq.com/articles/mop.

        • What happened here??

          by Hermann Schmidt /

          Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

          Where are all the previous comments?

        • The problem is not necessarily the age

          by Sami Kallio /

          Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

          "As Java continues to age, many developers ask how a language for general purpose & business computing would look if designed today."

          The design flaws of Java are not due to the age. Look at Eiffel, for example. The language was designed in 1985 and does not have similar problems.

        • Re: What happened here??

          by Morten Brodersen /

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          Censorship? If true what are they afraid of? The truth?

        • Re: What happened here??

          by Hermann Schmidt /

          Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

          Well, there was strong language in some comments (this is more likely the reason), but why dump them all? I, for one, have not insulted anybody.

        • Re: Business Computing is an oxymoron

          by Hermann Schmidt /

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          JJ,

          I fully agree that business computing is mainly shuffling data from A to B and that the actual concepts behind it are reinvented/reimplemented again and again.

          Would you then welcome a language, which has sufficient meta programming power to express the concepts you named? I'd rather have one language for both, the pattern definition and the implementation, instead of separated infrastructures, which both require the same amount of maintenance and add plenty of other dependencies, like for instance XText->Eclipse.

          The concepts then become part of the SDK, not the actual language.

          I am really surprised how exotic (in terms of usage count and concept) products like XText are deployed in projects without hesitation compared to new programming languages, which may even have a much larger user base and maturity (take Ruby for instance).

        • Re: What happened here??

          by Jim Nasium /

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          +1

          Why were all the comments removed?

          Yes, there was some criticism but it didn't get out of hand until Gavin started launching personal attacks on people. News flash, not everyone will agree with you all the time so deal with it. Even then I would have thought that we're all grown ups here and no one would cry and take their ball home becuase other people weren't playing nice.

          I'm always willing to give something a chance, becuase, hey, you never know what you might learn if you don't end up using it in daily use. However, this whole situation has turned me off of this. Deleteing a thread becuase of negative comments is not a way to win people over.

          I thought InfoQ was different and prided itself on being impartial and wouldn't bow to pressure in order to make a potential client look good (especially ironic considering the presentation was made in China). Maybe I was wrong.

        • Re: What happened here??

          by Jean-Jacques Dubray /

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          Guys, I think you are referring to the comments of the news post not the presentation. There are 15 comments here:

          www.infoq.com/news/2011/04/ceylon

        • Re: What happened here??

          by Jean-Jacques Dubray /

          Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

          To the best of my knowledge, I have never seen InfoQ removing any comment other than spam.

        • Re: Business Computing is an oxymoron

          by Jean-Jacques Dubray /

          Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

          >> Would you then welcome a language, which has sufficient meta programming power to express the concepts you named?

          Yes of course, inventing your own programming language for a single project doesn't make much sense. However traditional "programming" language, well, they are only "programming" languages. We need to go way passed the microprocessor instruction set into the realm of metaprogramming.

          It's great to see JBoss, one of the Java strongest believer go in that direction, the problem is really how far will they go? How many layers of "languages" do we need? Today we have BPM / Java / JVM / OS / Cloud

          Why can't we have an "information system" virtual machine ? or a "real time" virtual machine.

          The next question of course is about "architecture". An information system is rarely deployed in a single architecture, even with PaaS. The variety of clients and security models make it difficult to talk about VMs in the sense of Java VM. The VM is layered, able to consume the same solution descriptor at all levels of the architecture. This is what I do with moppr (www.moppr.com).

          So in the end, I think they are really looking at the wrong problem both semantically and architecturally. Hence my comment, this is a complete waste of time.

        • Re: What happened here??

          by Jim Nasium /

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          No, there was a whole thread here yesterday. Some people were a bit critical of Ceylon and then Gavin started flipping out and calling people names.

          I check back this morning and the slate has been wiped clean....

        • InfoQ deleted all the comments

          by Andrey Paramonov /

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          Very disappointed.

        • Re: InfoQ deleted all the comments

          by Jean-Jacques Dubray /

          Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

          sorry, I missed that

        • Re: What happened here??

          by Hermann Schmidt /

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          I don't get it. I clicked on the same link as yesterday. In the educational content box next to the presentation screenshot.

        • Thread Deleted, Sorry About That

          by Floyd Marinescu /

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          Hi everyone,

          Our normal moderation policy would be to delete individual threads that had become unacceptably offensive and contact the submitters, but in this case we only had the choice of removing the entire presentation or clearing out the whole thread, we chose the latter.

          I hope the community will be forgiving of InfoQ as this is the first time in our 5 year history that this has happened.

          Floyd Marinescu
          Co-founder & Chief Editor

        • Re: Thread Deleted, Sorry About That

          by Dan Tines /

          Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

          We're not a bunch of kindergartners, so really unless there is some serious threat in a thread, they should be left alone. I believe the rational is to "protect" Gavin King from the comments he made, more than anything else. I'm sure Floyd will deny it.

        • Re: Thread Deleted, Sorry About That

          by Gavin King /

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          I asked Floyd to delete and close the comment thread because I was sick of having to respond to non-technical comments be people who have nothing interesting to say about programming languages, just personal stuff questioning my credentials or knowledge of the subject matter. There was not a single comment in the thread which mentioned anything I talked about in my presentation.

          Since that apparently didn't end the matter, I've now asked Floyd to completely remove the presentation from the website. I just don't need to put myself out there to be a target for this kind of thing anymore. I'm way too old for this kind of pig-wrestling.

        • Re: Thread Deleted, Sorry About That

          by Jean-Jacques Dubray /

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          Gavin:

          starting your talk with something like "Business Computing" is not the best way to represent your knowledge, which might be quite extensive, I have no doubt about it.

          Trying to tell people that you are going to offer extensions to Java that look like Android's SDK is not necessarily the best way to bring people into discussing the evolution of Java.

          You should expect people to push back. It is actually healthy to see the amount of push back, it should either make your idea go away, or getting stronger, your choice.

          Personally, I didn't see anything of value in your presentation, but that's just me. It looks like the launch of REST-*. It seems that RedHat takes a legitimate area, and tries to pull it under its wing. Not sure it will fly very far. Eventually you might do something useful like REST-* did, but it's best to reach that point, until you start the discussion.

        • Re: Thread Deleted, Sorry About That

          by Jim Nasium /

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          I hate to say it but I think you're right.

          Gavin is now saying he asked Floyd to pull the thread beacuse of "non-technical comments be people who have nothing interesting to say about programming languages, just personal stuff questioning my credentials or knowledge of the subject matter".
          No mention of "unacceptably offensive" content as was suggested previously.

          Sounds like everyone needs to get their stories straight before trying to offer an explanation.

          I always told people to read InfoQ becuase you guys were supposed to be better than this. Now I'm going to have to revisit that opinion.

        • Re: Thread Deleted, Sorry About That

          by Gavin King /

          Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

          starting your talk with something like "Business Computing" is not the best way to represent your knowledge, which might be quite extensive, I have no doubt about it.


          What's shameful about "business computing". Business computing is important.

          This was a 50 min presentation to an audience of folks who weren't language gurus, and the first time I was talking in public about the subject. Cut me a break! I wasn't talking to an audience full of folks who've been coding in Haskell and ML for 10 years. The *only* knowledge I could really assume from the audience I was talking to was knowledge of Java.

          I mean, in the presentation I included a big upfront warning that I was going to talk at a "very shallow level".

          But that still doesn't excuse people posting comments claiming I don't know what I'm talking about. If something in my presentation is actually *wrong*, point that out. Talk about the presentation, not about *me*. I'm simply not that interesting.

          If people are looking for a somewhat *less* shallow treatment of some of the topics in the presentation, I've been working feverishly to get a bunch of stuff written up. But I'm still trying to keep it accessible.

          I mean, the whole point of this language is to be very accessible to people who are more interested in doing work than in showing off their knowledge of programming languages. That doesn't mean the language is "dumbed down" in any way, though it does mean that the language is very conventional in certain ways.

          But not in all ways. The focus on syntactic regularity, and upon being able to define more specialized constructs in terms of fewer more abstract constructs, has pushed us to break some of the conventions of C++, Java and C#.

          And it means that you're probably not going to find all that much in Ceylon that has not been tried out before in other languages. I make absolutely zero apology for that. It's a feature, not a bug. Great language design is, IMO, more about mixing and balancing the right combination of ideas, rather than about how many totally new never-seen-before notions you can throw in.

        • Not another JVM Language please

          by Abhishek Chavan /

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          Doesn't introduce anything new. There are just so many languages running on the JVM these days.

        • Re: Thread Deleted, Sorry About That

          by Jean-Jacques Dubray /

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          Look Gavin, I am not sure it is really necessary to argue. I think many people gave you the feedback that the content of the presentation was pretty low, not necessarily at the level of the "next big thing for Java". Maybe you could provide the next level of detail. I can only point you to REST-* and the initial reaction of the community. In the end I think REST-* added value to REST (at least IMHO). I can only wish you the same.

          I you want my personal and honest opinion (I worked with Bill Burke before he joined JBoss), I don't feel that what you presented had any value to the construction of "Business Information Systems" in the IT, Saas/Package Application sense. Again, it may be unfair to judge on such a short presentation, but that's all we have today.

          >> it means that you're probably not going to find all that much in Ceylon that has not been tried out before in other languages
          If you were building business information systems all day long you probably wouldn't come up with a completely different approach that what you have shown. It is time that brilliant developers like yourself finally put their hands in these systems and provide programming languages suited for that purpose and stop guessing what is needed (REST CIRCA 2007 comes to mind), otherwise, I would suggest you choose a different domain. Personally, I no longer care about a better Java, an enhaced Spring, a useable OSGI. I am very tired to see the same story repeating over and over: brillian people not doing enough homework to really build what it needed for IT to succeed.

          I like Java (a lot), but that's not the right programming language to do my every day job (by far). My world is full of information entities, business processes, business rules, events, services, contracts/interfaces ... A simple evolution, even declarative, is not going to change anything. General Purpose Programming language are not the future, and there is nothing that can fix them. If you claim your domain is information management, then the "programming language" has to be focused on "information" not "computing".

        • Re: Thread Deleted, Sorry About That

          by Dan Tines /

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          General Purpose Programming language are not the future, and there is nothing that can fix them. If you claim your domain is information management, then the "programming language" has to be focused on "information" not "computing".


          You're exactly right. The future is really specialized tools and external DSLs for various aspects of business/science/engineering....

          Business doesn't want "programmers". Business wants analysts. Science doesn't want programmers, science wants scientists....

          I now expect to hear something about the failure of 4GLs.

        • Re: Thread Deleted, Sorry About That

          by Jean-Jacques Dubray /

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          Dan,

          to be very clear, I make a big difference between "problem domain" DSLs and "solution domain" metamodel oriented programming (MOP). I am do not believe at all in Problem Domain DSL. I believe in giving better technologies to developers to support the business and scientists. I explained in the article referenced above what I mean by MOP.

          Gavin's proposal is going in that direction and many other is going into that direction without a precise understanding of what it means to create a metamodel oriented programming language. I personally don't like internal DSLs because they do not offer any degree of freedom in terms of architecture. We need to create solution domain programming languages that are both technology and architecture independent. I would not call that 4GL.

          There is something in between 3GL and 4GL. I personally call that MOP (as a generalization to OOP), others call it metaprogramming. I don't care, as long as we understand what it means. In particular it does not mean slapping some declarative stuff on a a 3GL, like annotation did. The problem is that all technologies provided to write software are monadic (i.e. everything is a XXX where XXX is procedure, function, class/object, process, resource, entity ...). Going polyadic like Gavin suggested makes sense to me, but you need to understand the underlying foundation of a polyadic programming language, i.e. a metamodel oriented programming language (that is way different from a 4GL).

          Incidentally, scientists had a very powerful 4GL in the 90s (not sure where it is today) called LabView (www.ni.com). IMHO, it was closer to MOP than a 4GL. This is a model that many people like Gavin should understand before they try to "fix" 3GLs for a specific domain.

        • Re: Thread Deleted, Sorry About That

          by Floyd Marinescu /

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          Jim and everyone,

          I apologize again for what happened. Our normal policy would have been to moderate the offensive individual entries. I regret having not done it this way this time.

          We treat all of our authors as owners of their content and given the request from Gavin (and the fact that the thread had descended into personal insults) we had to chose between keeping the presentation up & deleting the thread, vs. bringing the whole presentation down.

          I hope this first (and last) of it's kind slip of our commenting moderation policy will be forgiven, given the wider context of our 5 years of community service and thousands of good honest content published

          Floyd

        • Re: Thread Deleted, Sorry About That

          by Gavin King /

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          I think many people gave you the feedback that the content of the presentation was pretty low, not necessarily at the level of the "next big thing for Java".


          Look, even I don't think it's an especially good presentation, but the folks at InfoQ really wanted to put it up here 'cos they apparently thought it was interesting. I had no idea I was about to become a punching bag for a bunch of folks who weren't actually interested in waiting for more details about the language, just in jumping at the presented opportunity to feel superior to someone who's putting himself out there. If I had realized that, I never would have agreed to let InfoQ publish this video, and for that reason, I haven't agreed to let them publish the video of the second, slightly more technical presentation. Once bitten, twice shy.

          I'm getting waaay more interesting feedback from the stuff I'm posting on our own blog, along with a number of emails from folk who want to get involved in development. So I'm going to go where the positive vibe is.

        • Re: Thread Deleted, Sorry About That

          by Jim Nasium /

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          Floyd, I appreciate that you're stuck between a rock and a hard place. I think the reason why a lot of people, my self included, have become emotional about this issue is becuase we genuinely like InfoQ and don't want to see it become one of "those sites". I'm going to write a bit of a wordy post so I hope you'll read it through.

          After talking with several people on the train ride home the concensus is that the real issue surrounding this is not that the comments were deleted, but rather *why* they were deleted. No offence but no one really buys the "personal insult" rational because I've see replies here with profanity, insults or spam and only the offending posts are removed; the whole thread is never cleared. Plus, Gavin himself said that he asked for the thread to be taken down becuase of "non-technical comments be people who have nothing interesting to say about programming languages, just personal stuff questioning my credentials or knowledge of the subject matter".

          There's not much you can do now, but I think the best response would have been to say "Sorry, we really messed up. The author wanted us to take the thread down becuase of the "negative vibes". We shouldn't have done that." and then just locked the comments. Attempting to legitmize or rationalize the thread deletion by using the personal attacks angle only makes it more obvious that the real reasoning is being hidden.

          I think what makes this situation worse is the manner in which it happened: a presentation was posted, critical comments are made, the presenter gets involved, calls someone an asshole, thread starts to degenerate, presenter asks for everything to be deleted. If readers had started with the personal insults, or the presenter had asked for the offending comments to be removed and issued an apology with a request to stay on topic, this all would have gone away. It's the fact that he's the one who made a bad situation worse, then made you clean up his mess, and you covered for him is what disappointed myself and others.

          You're starting down a really slippery slope when you start allowing comments to be removed becuase they're negative. What happens when a vendor's product gets bad press and they ask you to take down negative comments? You've already done it once.

          People will let this slide and everyone will be back to normal tomorrow. But the next time it happens they'll remember this incident and you guys will start losing your excellent reputation very quickly. Believe me, I don't want to see that happen.

          A few suggestions for the future:

          - do like a lot of media outlets do: have the authors retain copyright but InfoQ retains publishing rights for InfoQ.com meaning that you are the ones who dictate if an article or comments come up or down.

          - if an author or vendor throws a fit and demands that delete an article or comments becuase they are negative tell them you will on the condition that they write an open letter explaining why they had you remove comments simply becuase they were negative and include that at the top of the article. It's only fair that readers be given that information before they read a page of glowing reviews on something

          - really think who you want to do business with and have associations with, sometimes the trouble caused is not worth the potential benefits

          I really hope you read this though and understand that I wrote it because I don't want to see you guys become another corporate site that publishes whatever becuase people throw enough money at them. I've seen a lot of good people change for the worse when they start to become successful; they forget the values that made them successful.

        • Re: Thread Deleted, Sorry About That

          by Jean-Jacques Dubray /

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          Gavin,

          this is not the first time it happened, let me guess, not the last time either. People, including myself, are pretty raw and it generally makes up for a healthy discussion in the end. I think 99% of the readers on InfoQ can distinguish between arguments and aggression, authors don't need to sort it out themselves. I think it is perfectly fair to say, hey, this was the first pass, I am excited about working on this and it needs a lot more work. That works for me.

          It's probably best to learn from this than try to dissect it to the nth degree, not to take the defense of Floyd, but he is a really nice guy and probably felt, on that basis that there was no need to see all this getting out control. When you think it through a few minutes you may not take the same decision you would take after hours thinking about the same topic with the advice of several editors.

          If it sets a precedent, it is by no means a pattern. At least for someone visiting infoQ several times a day. InfoQ brings me news I can use in my daily work, I also feed it back with other news I find directly from my daily work. I don't know many sites that do it with this level of consistency and quality (not speaking for myself) and professionalism without falling into "commercialism". Sometimes ideas presented here are out of this world, sometimes they need more work, in the end I think we all win, at least I do.

        • Re: Thread Deleted, Sorry About That

          by Morten Brodersen /

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          Gavin,

          If you make a public presentation talking about how all other languages are somewhat not up to your standard and then move on to present a new language that is basically a slightly modified syntax for a Java style language, you have to be prepared for people to point out that the king doesn't have any clothes. And not delete posts pointing out clear errors in the presentation. Like your statement that Pascal is based on the lambda calculus (not true). Or your statement that Java was the first language enabling large scale software development (also not true - Windows and Linux is written in C and C++. I don't think anybody would call those projects "small scale").

        • Re: Thread Deleted, Sorry About That

          by Gavin King /

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          Like your statement that Pascal is based on the lambda calculus (not true).


          I didn't say that anywhere. I never even thought it.

          Or your statement that Java was the first language enabling large scale software development (also not true - Windows and Linux is written in C and C++. I don't think anybody would call those projects "small scale").


          And all those buffer overruns? They haven't been a problem, have they?

        • Re: Thread Deleted, Sorry About That

          by Gavin King /

          Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

          If you make a public presentation talking about how all other languages are somewhat not up to your standard and then move on to present a new language that is basically a slightly modified syntax for a Java style language,


          Question: have you actually read my blog entries describing the language in more detail? Or are you basing this statement off of a 50 minute presentation which starts out with a huge disclaimer about shallowness?

        • Re: Thread Deleted, Sorry About That

          by Daniel Storbeck /

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          Morten,

          admittedly, "Haskell" and "Pascal" sound very similar but are, in fact, different languages.

          regards
          Daniel

        • Re: Thread Deleted, Sorry About That

          by Gavin King /

          Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

          If you make a public presentation talking about how all other languages are somewhat not up to your standard and then move on to present a new language that is basically a slightly modified syntax for a Java style language, you have to be prepared for people to point out that the king doesn't have any clothes. And not delete posts pointing out clear errors in the presentation. Like your statement that Pascal is based on the lambda calculus (not true).


          admittedly, "Haskell" and "Pascal" sound very similar but are, in fact, different languages.


          OMG. I'm laughing my ass off so hard right now.

        • Re: Thread Deleted, Sorry About That

          by Morten Brodersen /

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          HAHAHAHA. Yes Haskell and Pascal are indeed different languages :) If Gavin said Haskell and not Pascal then my mistake :)

        • Re: Thread Deleted, Sorry About That

          by Floyd Marinescu /

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          Jim,

          I agree with everything you said. I messed up, and it won't happen again. Our policy is to delete offensive comments (with personal insults, not bad vibes). I should have just deleted them on sight, regardless of who wrote them.

          Your advice on clarifying copyright vs. publishing right is very good, as is the suggestion to only pull on condition of posting a statement explaining it. In fact before you wrote this I had sent Gavin a note to ask to keep it up and he hasn't since asked for it to be taken down again so I'm glad that the community can see what happened and also my apologies and assurances that it won't happen again.

          Otherwise it was the consensus also on our internal InfoQ editors list that an explanatory news post to the community would be warranted if this page was removed.

          Also we have decided that we should publish a 'code of conduct' on the site that will make our policy more open and objective and thus easy to enforce.

          I really hope you read this though and understand that I wrote it because I don't want to see you guys become another corporate site that publishes whatever becuase people throw enough money at them. I've seen a lot of good people change for the worse when they start to become successful; they forget the values that made them successful.

          I really appreciate this, and I assure you that I am 'keeping it real'. :) In fact why don't you email me (see bottom of about page) and join our editorial team! You'll find many like minded people on our team who are committed to the same ideals. : )

          Floyd

        • From someone who likes Java?

          by Knox Liam /

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          Can you honestly be serious that you have come up with this language and you actually like Java? Seem like you have or do not understand the word simplicity.
          Thankfully this is yet another still born idea.

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