Wednesday, November 12, 2008

functional languages and template engines: a StringTemplate docs quote

From the StringTemplate documentation (I started trying StringTemplate out just yesterday, when I was looking around for a currently-maintained template library for C#):

Just so you know, I've never been a big fan of functional languages and I laughed really hard when I realized (while writing the academic paper) that I had implemented a functional language. The nature of the problem simply dictated a particular solution. We are generating sentences in an output language so we should use something akin to a grammar. Output grammars are inconvenient so tool builders created template engines. Restricted template engines that enforce the universally-agreed-upon goal of strict model-view separation also look remarkably like output grammars as I have shown. So, the very nature of the language generation problem dictates the solution: a template engine that is restricted to support a mutually-recursive set of templates with side-effect-free and order-independent attribute references.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

stuff white people like, meta-midwest edition

After a recent conversation, I've discovered that white people based in the midwest U.S. enjoy Stuff White People Like. They appreciate reading wry observations about white people who differ from them. It allows them to feel better about not living like the people they see on TV, not raising awareness for popular causes, not buying the right devices, and not listening to public radio or appearing to enjoy classical music.

On the other hand, they fully relate to a fondness for shorts, dogs, apologies, living by the water (been to Michigan?), sweaters, scarves, outdoor performance clothes, etc.

Of course, midwest people in thriving urban areas or college towns just read Stuff White People Like because it is about them.