Friday, May 27, 2011

peeve no. 263 is offhand Java bashing

It's a sign of immature writing to insist on inserting opinions and extra comments. Within opinionated persuasive essays (or blog rants), this is an expected practice because it's the whole point. Within a tutorial, it's an irritating distraction. If you're writing disinterested and objective prose about a technological topic, then it's...not...about...you!

When someone's stated goal is to educate, as opposed to spreading a point of view, side-swipes at programming languages should be left out. There's certainly a time and place to "fight the good fight" for your faction, but not by dumping stray sentences in the middle of a how-to on neutral ground. I understand, Advanced Technical Writer, that you're eager to give off the impression that you're an independent thinker of exquisite taste. Why not fully express your sophisticated perspective into a separate long-form document, rather than confining it to a cryptic handful of sentences or footnotes in everything you write? Tossing off some quick one-sided insults doesn't do justice to yourself or the reader. Advocate in your advocacy articles. Propagandize in your propaganda.
I would've written this example shorter, but Java is awful, am-I-right? Now watch me apply the words "noise" and "clutter" to perfectly understandable and correct syntax. Isn't a shame that I used an anonymous class here, when other languages (wink-wink, nudge-nudge) offer different possibilities? I apologize for writing loops and not overriding operators; my example language ties my hands so tight that it burns. Sorry about these checked exceptions ruining my 'sunny-scenario-only-dear-bob-don't-copy-it-as-is' code sample. Please don't laugh at the parentheses in my 'internal DSL', I did the best I could with the terrible tools available. Oh, how I long to have avoided that well-known design pattern through the deep meta-programming magicks that you naive mortals cannot comprehend. And the explicit data types torture me so...

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