The tree is believed to be 12, years old, although it is argued as being only 7, years old, which still makes it the oldest. Slowest A White Cedar located in the Great Lakes area of Canada, has only grown to less than 4 inches tall during its years. Tallest Inan Australian Eucalyptus at Watts River, Victoria in Australia was said to measure to feet, but it is speculated that it probably measured to over feet at some point in its life.
Want to start a startup? Get funded by Y Combinator. April This article is derived from a talk given at the Franz Developer Symposium. In the summer ofmy friend Robert Morris and I started a startup called Viaweb.
Our plan was to write software that would let end users build online stores. What was novel about this software, at the time, was that it ran on our server, using ordinary Web pages as the interface. A lot of people could have been having this idea at the same time, of course, but as far as I know, Viaweb was the first Web-based application.
It seemed such a novel idea to us that we named the company after it: Viaweb, because our software worked via the Web, instead of running on your desktop computer. Another unusual thing about this software was that it was written primarily in a programming language called Lisp. It was one of the first big end-user applications to be written in Lisp, which up till then had been used mostly in universities and research labs.
He suggests starting with Python and Java, because they are easy to learn. The serious hacker will also want to learn C, in order to hack Unix, and Perl for system administration and cgi scripts.
Finally, the truly serious hacker should consider learning Lisp: Lisp is worth learning for the profound enlightenment experience you will have when you finally get it; that experience will make you a better programmer for the rest of your days, even if you never actually use Lisp itself a lot.
This is the same argument you tend to hear for learning Latin. But wait a minute. If you write in Latin, no one can understand you. But Lisp is a computer language, and computers speak whatever language you, the programmer, tell them to.
On the whole, his advice is good. What he says about Lisp is pretty much the conventional wisdom.
But there is a contradiction in the conventional wisdom: Programming languages are just tools, after all. If Lisp really does yield better programs, you should use it. This is not just a theoretical question. Software is a very competitive business, prone to natural monopolies. A company that gets software written faster and better will, all other things being equal, put its competitors out of business.
Startups tend to be an all or nothing proposition. You either get rich, or you get nothing. In a startup, if you bet on the wrong technology, your competitors will crush you. When you choose technology, you have to ignore what other people are doing, and consider only what will work the best.
This is especially true in a startup. In a big company, you can do what all the other big companies are doing. The average big company grows at about ten percent a year.
If you do everything the way the average startup does it, you should expect average performance. The survival rate for startups is way less than fifty percent.
Ten years ago, writing applications meant writing applications in C. But with Web-based software, especially when you have the source code of both the language and the operating system, you can use whatever language you want.
This new freedom is a double-edged sword, however. Now that you can use any language, you have to think about which one to use.Fifty Orwell Essays, by George Orwell, free ebook.
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