Go Ahead, Say Boo

1 Apr 2007

Andy Glover posted a good overview of Boo, a .NET programming language that’s had some low-grade buzz for at least a year now. It’s Python-like, but not IronPython. The authors describe it this way:

Boo is a new object oriented statically typed programming language for the Common Language Infrastructure with a python inspired syntax and a special focus on language and compiler extensibility.

Depending on how conversant you are with programming language taxomonies, this description may not mean anything to you. Suffice it to say, it’s a nice, concise, legible programming language that has a lot potential power to be embedded or integrated into larger applications. If Boo were a Hollywood actor, it’d be Jeff Goldblum — not particularly verbose, a tad kooky but good-hearted and capable of making a scene pop whether a supporting player or lead.

Note: To put that analogy into perspective, I’d say C# would have to be Brad Pitt (sexy, popular, and omnipresent, but strangely awkward in some roles); Java, Tom Cruise (big in the day, still everywhere, but descending into schizophrenia); C++, Harrison Ford (a stalwart, serious and leathered); and PHP, Steve Buscemi (an ugly mug, but universally seems a satisfying fit).

Many folks forget that programming languages are tools and that some tools are better than others for certain jobs. Sure, I’ve hung a picture hook by banging on it with a flathead screwdriver, and I’ve used a claw hammer as a poor man’s crowbar, but that was purely out of temporal convenience, not because I didn’t know better. Similarly, there are a slew of things that I’d sooner do in PowerShell (or even VBScript!) than belabor in C#, simply because it would take less time, require fewer lines of code, and place more emphasis square on the business problem.

Check out Boo. Check out IronPython. Check out F#. Even check out Erlang. These languages could change the way you think about problems and change the way you solve them.


One Response to “Go Ahead, Say Boo”

  1. […] Jacobs writes a bit about Boo!  A .NET Language.  Worth reading simply for his take on which actors are the embodiement of your […]

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