Friday, September 19, 2014

MakerSquare Day 17: Javascript: weird or just different? (4/4)

In college (Bard '01, varsity fencer), I took an advanced computer science class that involved a few weeks of working with assembly code.

Assembly is not the computer's native language--we'd call that machine code--but it's pretty close. So after weeks (and semesters) of dealing with higher-level languages, we were thrust into this desert of strange commands and odd syntax. Imagine moving from learning French and suddenly being told that you were going to learn a new language that was all basic phonemes. So now, if you wanted to talk to the computer, you might come up with a sentence in English--and then remember that there's a different syntax (French!)--and then remember that you've got to go even deeper.

That's not exactly what we're going through now, but it gets close: after weeks of dealing with Ruby, we suddenly have been switched to Javascript almost exclusively. And Javascript does not move like Ruby. Javascript has behaviors like closure and first-class functions and hoisting and curly brackets all over. My god, the curly brackets!

But slowly, we are learning.

(Or at the very least, I was able to create a Javascript module to turn a sentence into a mess on purpose.)

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