This is the end of my first week at Las Vegas. My conclusion? It is the Sin City. At first, it may not look as impressive as it should. Casinos? Montreal has them. Strippers? Montreal has them. Helicopter tours? Montreal has them. What do you want more? Montreal even has hydrojets, all accessible at very affordable rates. The difference? You can play machine guns with nearly naked girls for $50 only. What’s more? If you don’t mind the desert heat, you can even go out to have a jeep ride, on which to shoot with a machine gun just to feel the dynamics of a battlefield. For $55, you get the full experience plus a hamburger lunch. It’s well worth it, in Vegas only. Obviously, there is a military base nearby, because you can see American soldiers from time to time whereas many services make it clear that they deserve a huge discount. The climate is a bit too hot and sometimes the air pollution is so bad that you don’t want to breathe. Fortunately, if you want to stay inside all day and all week, there’s no problem at all. Most shopping streets are inside the casino buildings, with full air conditioning so that you feel as comfortable as you want. Not all casinos are busy. Their business actually has to do with the length of their front aisle in parallel to Las Vegas Boulevard, because pedestrians tend to take advantage of the brief air conditioning provided by these casinos. The longer the aisle, the higher the probability that they will grab a seat to start gambling. Some casinos, such as the Cromwell, don’t seem to get this and have their halls nearly 80% empty at all times. Don’t worry, because gambling is so lucrative that no matter what they do, they will survive.
In any case, my Vegas vacation actually gave me a little breathing room to design a new programming language. After all, there is not much to do other than those predefined formulas. It used to be a tradition that Computer Science students must know how to implement a new programming language upon graduation. It’s not like that anymore. In fact, even when I was at school, there was no longer a focus in the School of Computer Science. Students sort of had to know a bit of everything, without any sense of direction. It really depends on what you want to do. If you are selling to businesses, chances are you want to create your little programming language to enable automation of your systems. The more you customers invest in your programming language, the more they get locked into your business solutions. Imagine, it may take about 2 months to switch from Novell to Windows as a new network management system, because there is not that much code and data to convert and migrate. However, it takes forever to switch from Oracle to SQL Server if you have 10 years of Oracle PL/SQL written and tested with time. There you go. Customer loyalty truly matters. On the other hand, if you are selling to everyday consumers, it’s better to build on existing habits and create new habits. Most people don’t write code, but they stick to their habits for productivity. Either way, I am not saying that language designers are evil, because API alone is sufficient to create vendor lock-in. The only way to avoid this problem is to have a standardization effort at an early stage with all major vendors before a market is matured or even created.
I will see how it goes. If time is right, I may add a little link here to point at my company web site where it will be introduced. Time will tell.