Our industry has been infected by a dangerous meme, and it’s one that hasn’t been given its proper scrutiny. Like many memes that explode in popularity, “Worse is Better” gave a name to an underlying fragment of culture or philosophy that had been incubating for some time. I point to C++ as one of the first instances of what would later become “Worse is Better” culture. There had been plenty of programming languages with hacks and warts before C++, but C++ was the first popular language deliberately crippled for pragmatic reasons by a language designer who likely knew better. That is, Stroustrup had the skills and knowledge to create a better language, but he chose to accept as a design requirement retaining full compatibility with C, including all its warts.
A little over a month ago, I started an experiment in being “exceedingly polite” to everyone I interacted with online:
I was struck by this passage in Steven Pinker’s article about why academics’ writing stinks:
Unison programs are viewed and edited in the browser. The frontend (which does things like code layout) is being written in Elm which talks to a backend (which does things like typechecking) written in Haskell.