Why I Program in Water

by Merrick J. Stemen

I was first introduced to Water when I saw an article in eWeek magazine. Having taught college computer science courses--and programming languages in particular--for nearly 15 years, I was always looking for new challenges to tackle.

In the article, Water was touted as a web services language, and I was very interested in any network-related programming that I could add to my networks courses.

Water was touted as introducing innovation to the XML arena--ConciseXML, and I had not really looked with much detail into XML at the time.

Water was touted to be "as easy as Basic, as powerful as Lisp," two programming languages I had experience with and could relate to.

All in all, I was very intrigued with the various claims being made about the language by its creators, Christopher Fry and Mike Plusch of Clearmethods, Inc.

The first step on my journey was to visit the Water Language website. There, I downloaded whatever version of Water was available at the time and set to work. On the website I viewed a Water Quick Reference Sheet that gave me several quick examples I was able to try out. Once I had exhausted the quick reference sheet, I moved on into the chapter exerpts from Mike Plusch's Water book. I was quickly able to get working programs up and running.

Among the things that most impressed me about the language were:

I was also quite impressed with many features of the Steam IDE, including a help system that actually helped, and a testing facility to verify that code actually produced expected results.

I have been very impressed by the features existing in the language at present, and with the vision the founders have for the future of the language and its accompanying standard, ConciseXML. And I look forward to seeing where the Water community is five years from now.

©Copyright 2004, Mr. Merrick J. Stemen. All rights reserved.