Go vs. Scala

One of Go’s features is that it doesn’t have an excess of features, and frankly, I think that feature is undervalued.

There’s an interesting discussion on Quora about the differences between Golang and Scala.

As a former academic with tendencies towards functional programming, I used to be very tempted by Scala.1 It offers all the functional goodness without the exoticism of Haskell, and came with reasonably good tools and frameworks. Like Clojure, it’s a functional language you can actually do some work with.

The problem with Scala is, the more advanced you get, the more complicated (unreadable?) your code becomes. I remember that back in grad school the dude who was able to doodle the craziest and mathematically most challenging solution to some problem in Haskell was someone everyone looked up to. But it turns out in the “real world” simplicity always trumps virtuosity and sophistication, which is one of the many reasons I love Golang so much. A language with no “magic,” good concurrency support, great documentation and community that compiles into machine code and runs faster than Python? Yes, please.

Read the whole Quora thread, though, there’s a lot of interesting stuff there.

  1. This is not to say that I don’t like Scala. I really do, it’s just that my love for it is, hm, not as unconditional as it used to be. 

No more LaTeX

I made jokes about this before, but it actually happened: since I no longer use LaTeX, I removed it from my laptop and got rid of the config from my .vimrc. It’s nothing unusual, but I somewhat feel that the departure from LaTeX marks an important (sic!) moment in my life.

LaTeX was my “gateway drug” to programming. I kid you not. Since I was interested in publishing as a teenager (even ran a small but successful magazine for a while), got very disappointed in MS Word’s DTP capabilities, had no money or supported OS to run Adobe or Quark, LaTeX was for me, sadly, the only option to put my magazine together. A Polish magazine called Linux+ published an article about LaTeX, I went through the tutorial, then through lshort2e.pdf, and got hooked. I was of course impressed by the quality of the output, but most importantly I understood the powerful concept of source code and compilation. LaTeX is of course technically markup and not code,1 and it’s not exactly compiled but parsed, but still the process and concepts are easily translatable to programming. So then came going through AWK tutorials, and later came C and Perl. And much later came a lot of other stuff, but it all started with LaTeX.
Continue reading “No more LaTeX”

Best Jazz Albums of 2015

In the spirit of 2015 summaries, I felt like sharing my recommendations for the best, in my view, jazz albums of yesteryear. The list is, of course, highly subjective and biased towards contemporary and European jazz.1 I also admit that the great majority of what I listen to comes from ACT Music label, since many of my favorite artists record for them, and thus it’s somewhat easier for me to explore their catalogue. Nevertheless, I tried to be broader in my picks, which was really easy this year thanks to some very surprising albums from relatively unknown artists. Below are my 6 favorites, with three in the “must listen” category additionally marked with a “💣” (how did internet function without emoji, eh?). Continue reading “Best Jazz Albums of 2015”