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The Pony Philosophy

In the spirit of Richard Gabriel, the Pony philosophy is neither “the-right-thing” nor “worse-is-better”. It is “get-stuff-done”.


Incorrectness is simply not allowed. It’s pointless to try to get stuff done if you can’t guarantee the result is correct.


Runtime speed is more important than everything except correctness. If performance must be sacrificed for correctness, try to come up with a new way to do things. The faster the program can get stuff done, the better. This is more important than anything except a correct result.


Simplicity can be sacrificed for performance. It is more important for the interface to be simple than the implementation. The faster the programmer can get stuff done, the better. It’s ok to make things a bit harder on the programmer to improve performance, but it’s more important to make things easier on the programmer than it is to make things easier on the language/runtime.


Consistency can be sacrificed for simplicity or performance. Don’t let excessive consistency get in the way of getting stuff done.


It’s nice to cover as many things as possible, but completeness can be sacrificed for anything else. It’s better to get some stuff done now than wait until everything can get done later.

The “get-stuff-done” approach has the same attitude towards correctness and simplicity as “the-right-thing”, but the same attitude towards consistency and completeness as “worse-is-better”. It also adds performance as a new principle, treating it as the second most important thing (after correctness).