Our virtual interviews are back! Join Elan as he talks with Vince Oostindie (creator of Eclipse - a PHP library) about his programming expertise, Eclipse, the future of programming and his thoughts on .NET.
Elan: I've often heard you saying that "general programming books" are much better than a book teaching a specific language. Why?
Vince: Because they teach you how to solve problems in an abstract manner. PHP, Java, Smalltalk... You can solve the same problems in much the same way, if only you know the general idea of programming. Once you know 'imperative programming' learning a new language (like PHP) is a matter of hours (reading the syntax rules). The rest is all the same. So 'general programming books' force you to take a more abstract approach to problem solving. Instead of 'How do I place these 6 numbers in the right order', you ask 'How can I sort efficiently'.
Elan: ASP.NET is supposed to be the "next generation server side technology". What do you think server side programming will be like in 5 years?
Vince: That's a hard one! Anyway, I don't think ASP.NET offers anything we haven't seen before (like in JSP). But we'll definitely be going to a more general method of creating web sites. XML will play a large role in that, I guess. I think in a few years, normal desktop applications and specific web sites will stand much closer together than they do now. You'll be able to write one program that works on the web and on the desktop at the same time.
Elan: Well, that wraps up our interview. Thanks for your time, Vince. Good luck with Eclipse and everything else!