One of the really great things about blogging is picking through your referer logs. Because you serendipidously discover all kinds of great stuff "out there". The blogosphere is already way too big to grasp, and coming across links to links to links is a great guide.
Anyway, today I found Paul Graham's site; it is not a blog, more an old style home page with a collection of essays. Among them was Great Hackers, which is quite thought-provoking. Among the interesting ideas is the notion that when starting a project, or a business, the choice of language limits the quality of programmers. Paul doesn't think too much of Java:
Paul is also biased against Windows:
I'm not sure I share his biases against Java or Windows. (Although I must say for myself, if I have to build something, I wouldn't choose either one.) Anyway I fully agree that in choosing a platform, you are choosing a culture.
This is particularly relevant to me because I'm embarking on a new project. I have the opportunity to begin from scratch, with any language. I need to build programs which are clients and servers, and I need to build an interactive website. I want at least some of the stuff to be cross-platform. So what do I use? ASP? C#? Java? I don't think so. Perl? PHP? Maybe. C++? Python? Very likely.
This isn't just about me. I'm going to be working with others... And like Paul points out, this is not just a choice of programming technique, it's a choice of culture. Language talks.