Simple Made Easy

Rich Hickey, creator of Clojure, talks about the important distinction between simple and easy. Simple is characterized by having one fold/twist. It is objective. Easy, on the other hand, refers to something being near and at hand. It is a relative concept. His argument that we, as developers, like to optimize for easy (easy to install, pretty syntax), but we should be focusing on creating artifacts that are simple.

He bemoans the software crisis and talks about what should be done about it. He pushes Clojure, but he makes really smart observations and arguments. Here are some choice quotes that I pulled out:

  • We must assess constructs by their artifacts.
  • Compared to the complexity we create, we are all very limited.
  • Programming is not about typing, it’s about thinking.

It’s a great talk.


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