Hello Learning Curve World

I have witnessed innumerable chats where the hello world experience of Java has been teased.

public class HelloWorld { public static void main(String[] args) { System.out.println(“Hello, World”); }

You can take a part basically every word and start explaining the concepts to the newbie:

public: the notion of package/public/private/default visibility
class: what is this OO thing?
static: instance vs. class methods
void: return types and nothingness
main: entry
String[]: types and arrays of type (v.s. Lists and other Collections)
args: arguments to methods
System: what things hang off that… and oh yeah java.lang.*
out: STDOUT / streams
println: printy printy

There is a rats nest off of most of those items.

In the land of Perl/Python/Ruby/… we scoff at this.

print “Hello, World”;

The same can be said in JavaScript land, but our boilerplate has changed over the years and now most modules end up with trappings (that differ between libraries):

// Twitter Bootstrap
(function(){ // …

// underscore.js
(function() { // …

// craft.js
;(function(window, document){ // …
})(this, this.document);

// jQuery
(function(window, undefined) { // …

// can.js
(function (window, $, undefined) { // …
})(this, jQuery);

We have gotten “smart” to stick to the good parts, but it is a shame that there is quite a learning curve around the language (this, arguments, and all that jazz).

In an ideal world the power of a platform will show itself like peals of an onion. You keep finding more.

JavaScript isn’t all bad in this way at all, but we could use some help.

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