Thursday, July 26, 2007

Who are you people and what are you doing reading my blog?

Ever since I got an invisible hit counter for this blog in mid-March, I've been surprised to see that people actually read this thing. Of course, I'm talking about you. At my last count, there were 10-15 active Factor programmers in the universe, not counting the ones who do it in secret. Yet, for some reason, my blog gets around 25 unique hits a day, with a standard deviation of around 12 and a distribution skewed strongly to the right. (That's ignoring the outliers of the times I get Redditted, getting 400-500 hits in a day; if I include that, the standard deviation is higher than the mean!)

So, I'm just wondering: among those of you who aren't Factor programmers who I sorta know, what motivates you to read this? Where/how did you find it? I know you're out there, so I'd really like it if you commented. (In fact, I always like it when people comment, even stupid comments.) This isn't meant as interrogation. I'm just really curious and confused.

Update: Thanks for all of your comments! But it's never too late to write another.


Sam said...

Your count is probably wrong. At least, I taught Factor to a dozen students in a course called "non-classical paradigms and languages", along with Scheme, Erlang and Haskell. Several students did their projects in Factor.

wtanksley said...

I'm on the Concatenative Languages mailing list... Factor is one of the more significant concatenative languages, so I'd like to kind of track it.

Many of the topics you write on have some interest to me, from combinators to unicode.

Vincent Foley said...

I don't use Factor, but I find the language interesting.

Hypercubed said...

I try to read everything related to concatenative languages.

kobi said...

hi, I think the reason I'm here is that the current dominating languages in the computing world, are too clumsy and unreadable, take any large c project.. even if everyone tries to keep the guidelines, and is really careful with his code, why should it be like this?
in my opinion the language itself should provide all this structure and abstractions so that people can program in a higher speed. (accelerate)

usually programmed functions are just algorithms and do not use an elegant or complete solution, that is coherent or built in, I think the language should integrate or unify high level and useful abstractions.

that's why I am interested in languages that do things differently and want to see if they can fulfill their potential in this way.
in factor, I like it that you don't have arguments to the functions (only as explanation) so the body of the function is really a building block, isolated. and can be built upon.
I am also not ashamed of my ugly code when it looks like that :))
and last thing, it brings a feeling of fun, like a new challenge or some game, because of the postfix and being based on stack - different thinking and very comfortable in my opinion. (the chaining or pipe-way flow control)
I like that it can still be efficient, and can accomplish so much in few words. the "libraries" are the right ones, developed at a relatively early stage. so it's nice to see the potential happening, and increasing itself.
I also feel it has a lower threshold, low learning curve for beginners, since it does things in the same way, in high level or low level.. i.e: has the same 'structure' and the features are used in the same way. so that is also an advantage.
I read your blog, because you are developing for it, and it's also interesting to see how big things are getting implemented with such a language. (for interest, and for practical, even though I only experimented a little and haven't coded anything with it yet)
it's interesting to see the way of handling the situation by dividing it and reasoning about it.
(and also I like your explanations, not condescending, in the eye-level and probably just talking to yourself, which is cool)
Thanks. hope it wasn't too boring for you to read. this is basically the "why".

HP said...

I use C++,perl,python for work.
IN addition, I also use Erlang for some servers in work.
I want to pick up Lisp or something.
Factor interests me since it can deliever small application codes and has attibutes found in many modern languages.

I visit your blog to see how experts in Factor use or comment on Factor.

Thanks for creating this blog,

Anonymous said...

A long time ago I built my first computer and discovered HP RPN calculators. The stack format is perfect for people who "see" the data being transformed. I have never become comfortable with the algebraic system or with wordy standard languages. The stack system suited me well.

Rich said...

Hi Daniel

I'm lurking, keeping an eye on Factor. Keep up the good posts!


HengSu said...

Hi, I found Factor several months ago, while I read about Joy(there is good blog about Joy and concatenative languages in Japan).
At that time, I was reading Haskell tutorials also, and the blog writer wrote "point-free" style seem to be similar to "concatenative" style. I agreed and searched for such language with better MacOSX support.
Factor is best for me, and I am now in learning curve(I do not know up/down).