Language is more than just dialect

31 January 2014

A common misconception is that once you learn a few languages learning more is pretty easy and basically a question of learning the syntaxical differences.

While it may be true, that this enables you to produce running code, learning and using a language should also include the “culture” and “behaviours” used by seasoned masters of that language. The culture and behaviours - invisible as they may be - should also be considered part of the language.

  • You’re not a Perl programmer, if you don’t know of CPAN and don’t utilize it, where applicable.
  • You’re not a PHP programmer, if your code looks like Java.
  • You’re not a node.js programmer, if all your code are written as blocking functions.

Beware: Figuring out what is “culture” and what is “religious fractions” may sometimes be pretty hard

  • Should all new PHP be object-oriented?
  • Should you always use Expression Engine when using node.js?
  • Can you write javascript without jQuery?