1 beer javascript rant

At some point in the past, Steve Yegge had his “drunken blog rants”, now sanitized to “Random whining and stuff“, so I guess after one beer I ought to be allowed to rant a bit about what is, according to him, the “Next Big Language”. He comes right out and says it in this video:

http://blip.tv/file/319044/ (skip to the end if you want to hear it from the horse’s mouth).

What he gets right in his talk is that Javascript does not have a good brand due to inconsistent and troublesome implementations in browsers. Actually he gets a lot of things right – more geeks should pay attention to having a basic knowledge of marketing, because it’s a reality that isn’t going to go away just because you don’t like it. Leaving that discussion for another time, though, what brought this to mind was this cleverly worded error message in an application I’m trying to stich together:

Object cannot be created in this context" code: "9

To borrow a line, “Note the consistent user interface and error reportage. EdJavascript is
generous enough to flag errors, yet prudent enough not to overwhelm
the novice with verbosity.” Indeed, I don’t have a clue as to what it’s complaining about. Naturally, I had a look on Google with the error message, and found a few other individuals suffering from the same symptoms, and checked, and rechecked that I was indeed including prototype.js prior to including the file causing the error, but all to no avail.

After an hour or so of googling and fiddling with firebug, and reloading, the problem seems to have “just gone away” (I wouldn’t believe me either, but there it is…).

Let’s hope that if Javascript does become ‘the next big thing’, that even more effort is put into making it a pleasant experience for developers.

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