My Two Languages: Python and Ada

This morning I read an article written by Jason R. Fruit. It’s called My Two Languages and in short it deals with Jason’s choice of programming languages – Python and Ada.

What caught my eye was his final comment.

And the language looks like no fun when you first see it; if Pascal had an overweight, dour, homely daughter, she would look a lot like Ada. I expected to hate it, but I’m finding that Ada’s advantages far outweigh its dull exterior. It’s large but not too large, clear but not too verbose, and safe without unduly limiting the programmer. I’m enjoying it so far, and it looks like it will serve me well.

When I started Ada some three years ago, I had a very hard time getting past the compiler. I hated GNAT with a passion the first few weeks (or was it months?), because it wouldn’t let me be a cowboy. And what was the deal with those specifications? Unnecessary redundancy! But ever so slowly my mindset changed, and the things I started out hating, grew into the things I now love the most about Ada. When your program is “done”, you’ve already cleared away the most serious bugs. Ada is programming heaven, if you can overcome the initial steep climb of going from cowboy hacking to actual software engineering.

As Jason puts it:

Ada was designed to favor ease of reading code over ease of writing it.

So very true. Ada is not a fickle mistress. If you bother getting to know her, you’ll soon enough find yourself in a relationship you wouldn’t give up for the world. Ada is reliable, trustworthy and efficient.

Jason’s post reminded me of the Ada? Surely you jest Mr. Pythonman article by R. Tyler Croy. Both articles are interesting reads to be sure, so don’t miss them.

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