2014-06-18

Food for Two (or three)

Jayne and I went to Olive Garden tonight and took Hiram. We all just ate soup and an appetizer of fried raviolis and fried zucchinis. It was one of the best meals I remember at Olive Garden. It was really simple, but everything tasted really good.

We are trying to cut back our spending on going out to eat, so it was nice to have a really enjoyable meal that was pretty affordable. Over the weekend we also went to La Hacienda Ranch to celebrate Father’s Day with Jayne’s dad. That is another restaurant where one can get a really enjoyable meal for two fairly cheaply. The veggie fajitas for 1 (but shared between two) seems like an excellent choice.

The One Thing I Don’t Like about Scala (so far)

The one thing I’ve found so far about Scala that I don’t like is a tendency to have syntactic shortcuts in certain situations that are not very regular with the rest of the language. One example specifically is in the way that you can define a curried function that takes 2 arguments and then call it with the second argument enclosed in curly brackets ("{" and "}") rather than parenthesis. This seems to be so that you can mimic the look of Scala’s native control structures. However, I believe you can only have one argument (one expression?) in between the curly brackets, which breaks the expectation that curly brackets usually enclose a block. That expectation is set not just by c based languages like C, C++, Java, C# and JavaScript, but also in most other cases by Scala itself.

This breaking of expectation is what frustrates me the most about Scala, because otherwise I really like the language. In general it does a really good job of unifying object oriented and functional concepts, so that semantically it reminds me of a cross between Smalltalk or Ruby and SML. In fact, along with Ruby, I think of it as one of the few languages to really get object orientation right. The frustrating thing about the ways that syntactic sugar seems to have been added for convenience rather than coherence is that it’s not obvious why the shortcuts are that much better than the desugared alternatives. Now this criticism isn’t applicable to all syntactic sugar in Scala, some of it is done really well. But there are enough places where it is rough, that it feels like there is a constant slight cognitive load to the language that doesn’t need to be there.

Even though I’ve noticed these little nits, I still plan to keep using it. Overall, I really like the language. I find it’s support for functional programming refreshing, and I think the way it deals with objects makes dealing with them a lot nicer than in C# or Java.

Standard

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