Learning multiple languages (question for general discussion)

Alex Martelli aleax at mail.comcast.net
Fri Nov 4 16:50:52 CET 2005

Magnus Lycka <lycka at carmen.se> wrote:

> Alex Martelli wrote:
> > Yes, but I haven't found knowing (and using) Python dampens my
> > enthusiasms for learning new languages.
> But you're more enthusiatic than most of us Alex. I wish
> I could say the same, but I must admit that I only did
> halfhearted attempts at learning new languages after Python.
> I've looked a bit at most of the ones you mentioned, but
> there was nothing that gave me the drive to really follow
> it through. I've somehow become content in this regard.

I can't imagine NOT getting enthusiastic and stimulated by reading Van
Roy and Hariri's book -- it IS quite as good and readable as SICP.
Ruby's also blessed with good books (and the excellent Rails, too).

> This doesn't mean that I'm not evolving. I regularly program
> in three languages (Python, C++ and SQL) and I must learn
> new things the whole time to keep interested, whether it's
> in the current problem domain, in architectural matters, in
> regards to libraries or development tools or whatever. Now

I agree, languages are not the only thing worth learning -- they just
tend to be more fun (although big frameworks compete with them for this
distinction;-).  Knuth's latest work is always stimulating, too, even
though the new RISC MIX isn't particularly so;-).

> it's Twisted for instance. Still, finding Python was a lot
> like finding a permanent home (which doesn't exclude various
> excursions, or prevent another move or two in this life.)

Yes, good analogy, I think -- just the right mix of elegance and
practicality one would look for in one's home!-)


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