January 23rd, 2014
(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: firstname.lastname@example.org
When out with friends recently, one of them mentioned how awesome Julia is. I was surprised to hear someone talk about it, even from another person in science. She turned and gushed about how awesome it was, how supportive the community was, even though she was “not really someone who likes programming.” And she liked it so much she was telling her friends about it at a bar!
If you make a programming language that people who don’t like programming love enough to spread by word of mouth when not near a computer, which technically-oriented people also love, that’s a lot like the OSX terminal + nice GUI blend.
That’s a pretty rare thing. And for collaborative science it’s pretty important. Often, you’ll have people in a bio lab who are very proficient in their area of biological expertise, but who would be solving the wrong problem by spending 2 years trying to become C++ hackers. On the other hand, there are a lot of people who write computational libraries, but know they have to translate them to matlab, or write a matlab wrapper and pray that their users can get it to compile which might sound simple to folks here, but is really frustrating for less computationally oriented people when something goes wrong.