It's Just Syntactic Sugar
Christian Vasquez Jan 4 Updated on Jan 05, 2018
I've read/heard people express themselves like this many times when talking about certain languages or language's features.
"It's just syntactic sugar." - Someone Somewhere.
But I wonder if they really know what does it mean.
Syntactic sugar is syntax within a programming language that is designed to make things easier to read or to express. It makes the language "sweeter" for human use: things can be expressed more clearly, more concisely, or in an alternative style that some may prefer.
I was listening to a podcast episode (I think it was from one of the Kotlin episodes from Fragmented) a few months ago where they discussed this same topic and one of the speakers said something along the lines:
"Many people say 'oh this is syntactic sugar over this other thing or language', but if you really think about it... Every programming language is syntactic sugar over all the 1's and 0's that the computer actually understands. It doesn't know keywords and operators, it's all just 1's and 0's."
Which brings me to another topic:
Who do you code for?
- Quality Assurance
- Mobile devices
If you picked any of those options, then you probably are in the wrong neighborhood.
We should code for other programmers, including our future self.
Sure, you want your code to be compiled/interpreted correctly and run smoothly without bugs, but your code can be so much more powerful if it can be read like a book.
It's good and all if you can type as fast as lighting, but at the end of the day developers get paid for solving problems, not the amount of keys they press per minute.