Weblog:   Why Scripting Languages Matter
Subject:   Right and Wrong
Date:   2003-05-16 09:37:42
From:   timoreilly
Response to: Right and Wrong

Strong assertions like Paul Graham's (and my endorsement) are almost always right and wrong. Their purpose is to illuminate something that may be in shadow, to make a point and start a train of thought. They exaggerate the truth in order to illuminate the truth.

Now you highlight the other side, helping to complete the picture. I think you're absolutely right that we need engineering as well as art. What's more the best painters spent a lot of time on engineering. Maybe Leonardo could sketch a perfect circle, but many pioneering artists used "engineering" aids like the camera obscura.

The idea I take away from this is that you need to understand and appreciate both "scripting languages" and more "software engineering languages", and understand when to use each one. And more than the languages, you need to understand when you are "thinking out loud" when you're programming, and when you have figured out what you want to do, and build a rigorous, engineered implementation.