> My first job a decade ago was Python scripting. I chose Python because > I wanted regexes but I didn't want the neural burn from Perl's > sadistic syntax. > > I'd recommend Ruby to newbies, it has a more regular syntax than > Python. I'm on to Lisp myself, which is a genuinely powerful and > advanced programming language, and very good for the web (see Paul > Graham et al). > Hey Rob, there are artists present. Could you stop talking dirty. Cheers, Ivan
> I just want to point out that this wasn't just absent mindedly "thrown > out there". I sincerely think that Perl should be required learning > for artists interested in working with computers. It's rather easy to > learn, it makes for quick prototyping of ideas if not a full solution > and it's capable of giving the artist near complete control over the > computer and it's capabilities. It's the quick-and-easy do all tool > like the pencil and paper sketch. You can use it for web-based > projects, to read or write to your peripherals, to interact with your > microprocessor, manipulate or create images, you name it. Also, it > would give the students a good general knowledge of programming > concepts and techniques making it easier for them to pick up other > languages and just basically understand how the computer deals with > information and data. On top of all this, it comes pre-installed with > most major OS's, complete with full documentation and is easily > installable on Windows. > I also believe that Jean Paul Sartre's Nausea should be required reading for all artists interested in working with computers.
> I think some of the most significant changes we see today have to do > with public familiarity with technology. A few years ago you had to > hire someone with a degree in computer sciences if you wanted a > dynamic web site. Today, your 13 year old cousin is likely to be > running his/her own database driven website, written from scratch. And > why not? Most of today's home computers come with included webservers > with server-side scripting abilities and the most widely used > databases are available for free download all over the place. As this > previously priviledged knowledge becomes more common, we'll see more > innovation. > Agree totally. During the first wave, I realised that we couldn't even begin to really get our heads around this stuff and what it might become. I think it's a lot more than just lots of people who are very familiar with technology (though of course that helps, when I started my first web company there were just zero people in the UK who were any immediate use). I think it's that we are all familiar day in day out with the concepts, i.e. you don't have to think about what online means or email or forms or subscribing or whatever, it is just embedded. Now there are kids who have never known anything else - but maybe we are not quite there yet.
I said back in the day that it would take a generation to grow up with online, graduate through college and go into teaching and teach the next generation before we would have some native apps - i.e. apps that were thought up by people who never knew or heard any different.
And I also predicted that it was more likely that some kid in the Mekong delta or the Venezualean rainforest who would come up with that stuff.
Having said all of that of course, I still think I'm pretty good at inventing the future :-)