Javascript, Summer Camps, and other Decisions

June 18, 2016 - 10:52am -- swingbug

I've been struggling with a javascript application at work.

I didn't really start programming until I met python. I love python. We understand each other. It's a very direct language. It runs in order, expects you to be specific, and cuts you no slack. It's very efficient and it loves making lists. I love making lists too. Python and I have a lot in common.

Javascript has pretty similar syntax to Python, but it thinks totally differently. It wants to multi-task. It will start things in the order you tell it to, but it will finish them whenever it damn well pleases. It reminds me of telling my nine-year-old to brush his teeth. He'll go right upstairs. He'll even put the toothpaste on the toothbrush, but in five minutes time I'll have yet to hear the water go on. I'll go upstairs and find him reading a book on the floor.

"What happened?"

He'll blink up at me. "I got distracted."

Right. This is javascript. I've essentially spent the week trying to getting Javascript to promise to finish brushing its teeth before it reads a book, and that this is always true. Even if it's raining. Or if you're having a bad day. Or if you've just come to a really important chapter in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" and you're dying to know what happens next.

Much like parenting, there is a lot of trouble-shooting involved.

And speaking of parenting, we're in full summer vacation season around here now. It's a bit of challenge for the working parent. You want it be a relaxing break for the kiddo, and yet they still have to be out of the house from 8-5 while Mom and Dad do their daily thing. It ends up being a combo of day camps and day care and extended family to make the whole thing run. It takes planning months in advance before the camps fill up and whole thing is a lot more regimented than my summers generally were when I was small.

Of course, I came home to an empty house and managed for myself when I was that age, a lot more often than my kid ever does, simply because there are programs to choose from for the kids now. Which is better, I wonder? Hard to say.

I think the real reason that things always seem better "when we were kids" is because we only remember bits and pieces, and mostly the good parts.

Speaking of "when we were kids", I got an invitation to my twentieth high school reunion. has been reminding me daily that I haven't responded yet. What do you say, folks? Should I stay or should I go now?

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