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Discussion on: Why Programming Languages Are Hard

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Eliot Lash

Good article. I agree with your assessment of how we got into the current situation. However, I believe the onus is entirely on the developer community to create better paradigms, languages, and tools to assist less technical people in getting stuff done. Computers are crazy powerful, but much of that is locked away for the average person.

On the topic of error messages, have a look at Elm. Great care was paid by the developers to make compiler errors easy to understand for regular humans. It will even show examples and guess at what might fix the problem.

However I think we may be stuck in an old paradigm - textual source files - that's also holding us back. Bret Victor gave an interesting talk on forgotten lessons from decades past at He has also been working on re-imagining a computer as a public space for experimentation that exists in the physical world at

I am really excited when people are able to think past our current ways of doing things, designed to meet constraints that largely no longer exist. I hope that programming will one day be unrecognizable to us now, and become just another thing you do in your day to day life.

nqthqn profile image

On the topic of error messages, have a look at Elm.

Yes!! Best error messages ever. I have never felt happier as a developer.