Lazyness as a Virtue

A core principle within Adama is that we should off-load as much work as possible to the language and run-time. We should be lazy and allow the language to do some valuable heavy lifting for us. The question then is "how can the language help with building real things?".

Well, the challenge is that most of the "serious programmer" languages these days are within a narrow band and do similar enough things. Worse yet, we can be rather discriminatory when it comes to languages. For instance, consider Dijkstra once wrote:

It is practically impossible to teach good programming to students that have had a prior exposure to BASIC: as potential programmers, they are mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration.

Now, he was railing against a different BASIC than what you or I may know. I was raised with QBasic, which I would then leverage in Visual Basic for Applications. If you are a professional software engineer, then you may even sneer at VBA. However, we should ask why VBA is still used and learned. Is it just inertia? Or, is it that it is simple enough for simple tasks, and "non-serious programmer" people can understand it. Not only can "non-serious programmer" understand it, they can hack it!

Don't get me wrong, there are great reasons to hate on Basic/VBA; however, the antidote is not to force people to contend with category theory. Adama aims to bridge this in a reasonable and clear enough way, and the key is to be lazy. Specifically, Adama intends to co-opt the most accessible programming model ever devised: Excel.

With Excel in mind, Adama will do some heavy lifting for product builders. Adama developers will never ever need to think about:

  • Serializing data from structures to byte arrays
  • Using a network that will fail
  • Using a disks that may fail
  • Think about synchronizing state

Excel is the rallying cry for Adama because Excel is just so fucking awesome at being productive. The challenge with Excel is that shipping products with it is not competitive to shipping software with "serious languages" from "serious programmers" to build web products. Adama hopes is to be as productive as Excel except with pure text files.

Sadly, Just being super productive is not enough for this world. Adama must also support some super powers...