This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Being Popular. Essay

7204 words - 29 pages

A friend of mine once told an eminent operating systems expert that he wanted to design a really good programming language. The expert told him that it would be a waste of time, that programming languages don't become popular or unpopular based on their merits, and so no matter how good his language was, no one would use it. At least, that was what had happened to the language he had designed.What does make a language popular? Do popular languages deserve their popularity? Is it worth trying to define a good programming language? How would you do it?I think the answers to these questions can be found by looking at hackers, and learning what they want. Programming languages are for hackers, and a programming language is good as a programming language (rather than, say, an exercise in denotational semantics or compiler design) if and only if hackers like it.1 The Mechanics of Popularity.It's true, certainly, that most people don't choose programming languages simply based on their merits. Most programmers are told what language to use by someone else. And yet I think the effect of such external factors on the popularity of programming languages is not as great as it's sometimes thought to be. I think a bigger problem is that a hacker's idea of a good programming language is not the same as most language designers'.Between the two, the hacker's opinion is the one that matters. Programming languages are not theorems. They're tools, designed for people, and they have to be designed to suit human strengths and weaknesses as much as shoes have to be designed for human feet. If a shoe pinches when you put it on, it's a bad shoe, however elegant it may be as a piece of sculpture.It may be that the majority of programmers can't tell a good language from a bad one. But that's no different with any other tool. It doesn't mean that it's a waste of time to try designing a good language. Expert hackers can tell a good language when they see one, and they'll use it. Expert hackers are a tiny minority, admittedly, but that tiny minority write all the good software, and their influence is such that the rest of the programmers will tend to use whatever language they use. Often, indeed, it is not merely influence but command: often the expert hackers are the very people who, as their bosses or faculty advisors, tell the other programmers what language to use.The opinion of expert hackers is not the only force that determines the relative popularity of programming languages-- legacy software (Cobol) and hype (Ada, Java) also play a role-- but I think it is the most powerful force over the long term. Given an initial critical mass and enough time, a programming language probably becomes about as popular as it deserves to be. And popularity further separates good languages from bad ones, because feedback from real live users always leads to improvements. Look at how much any popular language has changed during its life. Perl and Fortran are extreme cases, but even Lisp...

Find Another Essay On Being Popular.

Pop Culcture Essay

1280 words - 6 pages instruction across the curriculum. Like Kenway and Bullen, we believe this view of young children's use of media-produced popular culture is too simple and thus unhelpful. Situations such as this suggest to us that any meaningful use students might make of popular culture is not being factored into the teaching-learning scenario. When this approach is implemented, popular culture becomes a pedagogical guise for limiting the pleasures students can take

What is popular culture and why is it such a big part of life in the UK?

1233 words - 5 pages , with the aim of attracting public's attention and making profits. As Williams (1976) expounded, 'popular means being seen from the point of view of the people rather than from those seeking favour or power over them'. In addition, popular culture is different from folk culture which is more ethnic and traditional while popular culture usually has nothing to do with 'outmoded' and it only deals with what is 'in fashion'.Popular culture was spread


1036 words - 5 pages reports from a national sample of club DJs” (Billboard, 2013). This statement holds true for Billboard Magazine’s top 25 dance/electronic songs for November 30th – December 7th, 2013 chart. Billboards popular music ranking’s does not offer international options for this particular chart. For that reason the chart is assumed to be comprised of American statistics. That being said, a majority of the data collected relevant to Billboard Magazine’s top 25

The ruins of America via popular culture in mass media and politics

1319 words - 6 pages celebrities of popular culture rise from fame from being an entertainer in the music, television, or movie industry. A vast majority of new celebrities come from a new form of popular culture – reality television. According to conservative columnist, Cal Thomas, celebrity is king, no matter how it is attained. Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton obtained their celebrity status by releasing sex tapes. “Popular culture is to the mind what sugary cereal

Postmodern VS. Popular Music

1124 words - 4 pages perfect sound to strive for. CD's gave the consumer of popular music the best quality possible, but in doing so removed the search to supplement what was lacking from the sound quality of, say, vinyl recording. We are not reminded that a record player is being used to play the music by constant hiss or needle crackle. The sound is created from constraints that lack high inherent in the sound apparatus but sound, requiring considerable bandwidth

Popular Music: Art, Formula or Product?

2530 words - 10 pages remains a need for critical, objective enquiry into the economic side of pop music, from which we can learn a lot.The MoneyWith the United States' second largest export being the entertainment industry and Britain's following not far behind, the money behind popular music is a growing aspect of the genre, but has always been a driving force. From Buddy Holly getting his teeth fixed to appeal to the girl next door to Darius losing his 'goatee' and

Society's changing views reflected on Popular Culture. - History - Essay

1157 words - 5 pages sport with a procedure of popular culture was cricket. Cricket displayed good connection with England. The Ashes were and are still the best sports traditions, played in series with England. These types of competitions were interrupted by the war. Australia and England were excited to see the competitions to be back on as a symbol of things being normal again. During 1947-1964 numerous migrants came to Australia under systems intended to increase

Connecting Literacy and Popular Culture: Annotated Bibliography

1930 words - 8 pages their own texts. The article discusses teaching strategies for educators to encourage popular culture within their settings and foster children’s literacy development. Analytic Summary: By learning about gender and popular culture within my research, I have been able to learn about the different aspects of literacy education and the importance of being able to critically analyse differences in opinion. In Topic 1, I learnt about boy’s

popular nomination in hong kong

1310 words - 5 pages POPULAR NOMINATION IN HONG KONG 8Popular Nomination in Hong KongWong Ho LongHang Seng Management CollegeAuthor NoteInformative/Argumentative essay written by S136688 Wong Ho Long as ENG2010 Assignment Number 2 for Peter James Ronald Brokenshire.Popular Nomination in Hong KongRecently, the Universal Suffrage is being discussed by the Hongkongers. One of the controversial issue is the popular nomination for the election of Chief Executive. This


1325 words - 5 pages comeback that stifles the other wins and everyone sort of applauds that person by laughing. This is a very childish act and I think should never occur, but it does plane and simple.Children want acknowledgement and want to be popular which is a concept that parents and adults don't always understand. To be in the popular crowd is like being on top of the world. Women want you and men want to be like you. This makes people feel good. This is not a

Popular News Publication and Academic Journal

1942 words - 8 pages text without any illustration to support the explanation. This is because the academic journal content are more in depth and illustration will help the reader to further understand what are being discussed in the publication. Besides, the popular news publication contents are not heavy and just an overview of the topic where it can be understood by reader even without the help of illustration. From the perspective of visual presentation style

Similar Essays

Being Popular Essay

532 words - 2 pages Being Popular Drug and alcohol abuse is a serious problem among many young people. Most drug and alcohol abuse happens on the weekend at a party or at a friend’s house. Young people want to be popular and fit in, and if fitting in means drinking or using drugs, they are going to do it. After a few parties, and a few nights out at a friend’s house,young people start to get addicted to drugs and alcohol and their life begins to fall apart

Being More Popular Than Jesus Essay

1517 words - 6 pages claimed to reward the lucky winner a night out with their favorite Beatle (Brown). However, after an interview where Lennon remarked, “We're more popular than Jesus now,” rage-filled Christians all over America started burning the Beatles’ records and claimed they were unholy sinners. This of course only made them more popular. A large factor in the Beatles’ success can also be accredited to commercialism. Once they accrued a large enough fan base

Subject:English Genre:Australian Youth And Popular Culture Task:Magazine Article The Media Shows Youth As Either Being "Perfect" Or "Rotten"

713 words - 3 pages children went on a killing rampage"... "Juveniles embark on mindless vandalism, theft and assaults"... "16, 400 crimes committed by kids."Shocking news such as this gives the public a disturbing image of youth. The public could be led into believing that all kids are untrustworthy, dishonest lawbreakers.On the other hand, portrayals of youth being ideal or perfect, definitely disturbs youths self-esteem and the way they see themselves. Not everyone

Scheme For Reducing Expenditure On Prison

562 words - 2 pages Simin LiangFinal AEthno-religious Values vs. Popular CultureI have been nurtured in a traditional Chinese family which adopts three Chinese religious values for my upbringing. Those three kinds of Chinese religious values are Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. Being a Chinese American, these three types of belief make up my Culture background because the concepts impact my values and views. Meanwhile, popular culture contributes toward my