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From the comments:

Ten days to implement the [Javascript] lexer, parser, bytecode emitter (which I folded into the parser; required some code buffering to reorder things like the for(;;) loop head parts and body), interpreter, built-in classes, and decompiler... Ten days without much sleep to build JS from scratch, "make it look like Java" (I made it look like C), and smuggle in its saving graces: first class functions (closures came later but were part of the plan), Self-ish prototypes (one per instance, not many as in Self).

That's from Brendan Eich, the guy who created Javascript. Guess you never know when your 10 day project might go big and become something like the assembly for the web. Release early and iterate often seems to hold up quite well here....




Holy fuck. He did all of that in 10 days?

Even with a case of Red Bull, a bottle of Adderall, and a heart full of courage, I doubt most of us could come close to that level of productivity. We'd get bogged down in the details. I know I would.

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It's not clear for me if he only coded for ten days. Or he just sad down and thought all algorithms and stuff, and coded in same time.

More over there was no social media sites like twitter, facebook, etc, at that time :)

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No waterfall process at Netscape, or anywhere near me since the '80s. I designed and coded at the same time. That, plus lack of sleep, show in some of the gaffes.

But arguably (Doug Crockford may have argued this) the whole process required JS to make more out of fewer, stronger primitives (first-class functions, prototypes). I know I didn't have time for much else, as I said at the ICFP 2005 keynote.

As I told Peter Seibel in "Coders at Work", besides lack of time, I couldn't add anything like (Pythonic, dynamic) classes. That would have encroached on Batman-Java; can't have JS-Robin-the-boy-hostage getting too big for the Netscape/Sun-1995-era-batcave.

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That's really interesting. I think JS is better for those constraints. Seems like a classic disruption: something perceived to be a toy turns out to take over the universe. Some people may cling to the idea that Batman is the "serious" alternative... meanwhile Robin is installed on approximately every fucking computer in the world. It took 10 years to figure out how great the DNA that made it into JS was, but this is what makes web apps possible. We're extremely lucky to have it. Thank you!

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I've found that there usually is a moment in a programmers technical career where it just clicks. I find that what seems like productivity is almost always a direct result of a higher order of understanding.

An analogous situation is your average first year PhD candidate. Initially making some sort of contribution to the field feels overwhelming and almost impossible. But once you've spend a year or two reading papers and having coffee with the leaders in the field, everything comes together. That same PhD student starts to churn out quality papers every 6 months or so.

I think back to what it was like watching my dad program in Scheme when I was in high school. I got the same curious and overwhelming feeling then as I do now when working on certain areas of distributed systems. There's no reason to believe that the barriers that grownups face are any less insurmountable than the ones children do. :)

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See also interviews with Douglas Crockford and Brendan Eich in Coders At Work for some interesting info.

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