Back From Vacation

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I just returned from a fantastic vacation to London and Copenhagen. I’d visited London, before but had never been to Copenhagen, or any Scandinavian country. As an engineer, I could barely wrap my mind around the brilliant efficiencies of the city. The train system is a wonder – incredibly efficient, clean,and comprehensive, with the ability to get anywhere easily, and even allowing sales of travel tickets via text message. My heart warmed at the first site of a flotilla of bike-commuters sailing by on our walk to our hotel. The Danes themselves consistently impressed us with their warmth and hospitality. I look forward to returning soon.

My brain is struggling to return to coding productivity after its extended vacation, so I’ve mostly been reviewing my RSS reader to aid in the transition. Assaf Arkin, to whom I owe a massive debt for his creation of Node testingtool Zombie.js, wrote a great article on Self that deserves mentioning. Self, as most JS developers know, played an important role in inspiring Brendan Eich’s creation of Javascript, but I was unaware of the details of the language.

Assaf’s whole article is worth reading, but one particular quote stood out:

language and environment come together to achieve a common goal: to create an environment that is malleable, that allows learning through sharing and exploration, that uses minimalism and consistency to foster reuse.

Minimalism, consistency, malleability.

These words work not just as signposts of good language design, but of everything from API construction to individual units of code. I’m certainly planning on using them as my mantra as I slowly get back up to speed with work.