Part 1 - Programming languages

Started by CultLeader, June 02, 2021, 06:23:05 AM

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I wanna speak about programming languages I use. Tried lots of crap over the years and I found a few gems that are my go to tools and I don't need anything else. I have access to abstractions way more powerful than any programming language gives you out of the box (and sadly, no one I know uses this trick, I had to come up with that myself).

I wan't to speak about languages I use for everything I do, and I don't need anything else:

Languages I use


The best language I've ever used, by its expressional power (which is limited, but can be unlimited). The rock solidity of type safety and type inference makes this indispensable. Single thread C like performance is also great, hence, you can develop websites, or anything really, without wasting too much CPU.

This is a variable in OCaml:

let x = 7

This is a square function in OCaml:
let square arg = arg * arg

This is how to square list of elements in ocaml: [1; 2; 3] ~f:(fun i -> i * i) ;; will yield [1; 4; 9]

As you can see, very expressive, much more expressive than C++. But most of all: TYPESAFE. You write script-like programs but they have to compile to be shipped. All types in examples are inferred, if they are not inferred you can explicitly specify them.

Usually, scripting languages are garbage. You find out if they work only during runtime. Here, 90% of trivial errors are caught before you ship anything, needless to say, a huge time save.

If project doesn't need to squeeze every drop of performance from CPU (90%+ projects are like that), choosing OCaml is no brainer and allows writing tens of thousands of lines of code, mostly without tests, that usually just works. I can't imagine any other language that even would come close.


Sweed delivery from pain points of C++. No more segfaults. If something is performance critical, picking Rust is a no brainer. Already there are 10x more libraries for Rust than C++. Rust will never be as terse as OCaml, being a low level language, but with a good reason. We have to get to low level to, and be very explicit about telling CPU what we wan't to do. Square function in Rust:

fn square(num: i64) -> i64 {
  num * num

As you can see, quite more verbosity, and mandatory type annotations which we didn't have for OCaml, but hey, if you want performance, this is the sacrifice I'm willing to make.

That's it

These are all the languages I'd ever use in production and with which I develop everything, from compilers, to web services, to DSL, to metrics systems - anything.


Hence, I know only two languages, which allow me to do any abstractions I can think of and I laugh when I see other languages introduce new features (because I already have something more superior than any language feature, and these are not things that come out of the box of OCaml nor Rust)

Languages I'd never use

Now, let's roast the languages I don't care about (even if I know them) and why I would never ever use or need any of them


Rust did everything C++ failed at 100x better. From macros to package managers. If you're starting a new C++ project in 2021 you're seriously screwed in the head.


A pathetic excuse of a language. Neither as fast as Rust, neither as expressive as OCaml. No parameterized typing (pathetic). No full type inference (I don't roast Rust for that because it is fast).

Pathetic error handling:

f, err := os.Open("filename.ext")
if err != nil {

Are you serious? Not even Result<Success, Error> monad? Not even Some(..) None option? Check for nil? Go kill yourselves.

The only decent feature is portable executables.

If this is the best google and rob pike can come up with then I can't help but state that they're bunch of idiots.


For frontend, I use js_of_ocaml which compiles to javascript monstrosity. But I do have to sometimes write itsy little bitsy of javascript, for instance, if you have javascript library, I write bindings to use it frm typesafe OCaml, I make sure they work and just write OCaml and enjoy typesafety. Also, if I need to access rest endpoints they are typesafe too, I don't parse jsons by hand.

I would never use javascript because it is not typesafe. I don't want to check spelling errors by writing unit test for every most trivial function in the world. I want to write code that works from the first time 90% of the time and barely have any tests, except for exceptional circumstances. This goes for any dynamically typed language - run from them.


Non typesafe, all the drawbacks of javascript. There are circumstances when I'd write up to 100 lines of throwaway scripts with python, as it is already installed in machine, or python has some library I need, but again, I wrap those libraries in typesafe way and enjoy them from OCaml without any drawbacks of dynamic typing.


Would never use, no idea why anyone would use it. Does not come preinstalled, is not typesafe, either write 2x code, 1x for code, 1x for tests, and even then type safety errors creep into production. Performance is also horrible. Community is generally very low-quality people, that know something horrible, like java, they learned ruby and then they think that it is all there is to the world. No OCaml developer I've ever met or talked with gives a tiny rats behind about ruby, because from OCaml standpoint it's pathetic.


In general, avoid anything with JVM. JVM people tend to produce very complex projects, avoid 99% stuff from apache software foundation. For every pathetic pile of crap ASF puts out eventually there comes a simpler, more easily maintained analog.

I will not post syntax of Java (Scala is a decent attempt to save sinking JVM ship) not to rape anyone's eyes, but boy is it verbose. And boy is it error prone. And boy there are many null pointer exceptions in production. And if you want to save money on hosting or hardware, OCaml executables serving websites run up to 32MB of usage (I'm generously overestimating), if you deploy any JVM pile of crap, in the most conservative setups be prepared to sacrifice at least 128MB of RAM. Reality is much more grievious, JVM process that uses 1GB of RAM is fairly modest.

If you choose anything JVM based to develop your website solution, forget about running few cheap digital ocean boxes to serve your website (no problem with OCaml) until it gets popular and startup idea is justified. Be prepared to call devops team and pay them gazillions to build your private cloud with kubernetes instead, then, once you've wasted tens of thousands of dollars for servers and development, see your startup fail and all of that startup cost as a waste.

Why would anyone start with JVM? Bizarre.


There are lots of fanbois of lisp there, been there myself. Then one day I figured I'm spending 90% time debugging non typesafe code. And Paul Graham states it is the most powerful language, because of muh macros. Lisp macros to what I will reveal here and what I do with OCaml/Rust will be pathetic and pale in comparison. So, if we don't care about lisp macros, lisp becomes similar to other non-typesafe languages and which we already dismissed as garbage,

Muh favorite some other language

Sure, post something else, but 99% chances are, I don't care. It will never have feature which I cannot develop myself (sounds hard to believe, but when I explain it, it will be so simple, you'll just think "why didn't I think of this myself?"). In general, I'm not limited by any pesky language features, all I need is basic type safety and I'm set to build anything I want on top of that.