Greg Knauss does a nice job of deflating Paul Graham’s essay on hackers that I linked to the other day. When it comes to technical articles like Graham’s essay, my brain has a special filter that enables me to ignore the fatuous parts and mine the value from the useful parts, otherwise I couldn’t read them at all. I mean the idea that there are no great Java or .NET hackers is just so silly that it hardly bears response.

There are some software development pundits from the world of obscure languages who have lots of really smart stuff to say, like Paul Graham and James Robertson, whose hatred of popular languages just has to be glossed over if you expect to be able to read them. I think that they’re so offended that their language of choice (Lisp, Smalltalk, or whatever) never hit the big time that they just can’t see other, more popular languages all that rationally. I know they’d tell me that they hate Java or C# or whatever because they handcuff your productivity when compared to the obscure language that they favor, and they may even be right.

Update: Here’s a list of the most valuable hackers in Java. I’m not sure how many of them would meet Paul Graham’s standard, but they’d meet mine. You can also add the developers of cglib to the list.