Airplane Test of Programming Languages

The airplane test measures the (often binary) ability to write code in a specified programming language while secluded on an airplane with no internet access. It shows the programming language’s capability to unblock the programmer and is an indicator of productivity.

Typed languages (such as rustlang) fair better because it’s easier to reason about code and jump to a definition when you need to understand what’s going on. However, other contributing factors include the legibility of error messages and stack traces, quality of documentation, quirks in the language, tooling, and whether it is ‘batteries included’. In this way, typed languages can also fail the test (e.g. TypeScript’s quirks with interoperating with JS libraries and Webpack generally requires access to StackOverflow).

  • Typescript Records With Enum Keys Are Exhaustively Checked

    In TypeScript, a Record type used with an enum for keys is exhaustively checked. That means if you forget an enum variant in the Record it’s a compile-time error.

  • LLM-First Programming Language

    There are many barriers to adoption for a new programming language looking to go mainstream. You have to attract a small group of enthusiasts, build an ecosystem of high quality libraries, help new people learn, and eventually grow a talent marketplace.