Posts by: Kevin Simler

The Hedgehog Programming Language


One thing about being a developer on the Palantir Finance product that doesn’t get nearly enough publicity is the fact that we have our own programming language. I’m pretty excited about it so let me repeat, with emphasis: we have our own programming language. Yeah, it’s awesome. All those late hours you spent in the lab working on your final project in compilers: turns out they’re actually good for something other than getting into grad school.

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Palantir: so what is it you guys do?

I often ask candidates if they’re familiar with what we do at Palantir. Most people think they are. “Oh, you’re that data viz. company,” or, worse, “You guys do data mining, right?” At least they’ve heard of us and at least they’re on the right track, but I cringe anyway. We aren’t just a “data visualization” company and we don’t do “data mining.” It’s almost impossible to convey the scope and complexity of what we do in a few short minutes—or to do so without taking the conversation to an eye-glazing level of abstraction.

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Fully Interactive JTables (aka Mouseover Editing)

What sucks about JTables? Everything, of course—but that’s a developer’s perspective. To the user, cell editing is rough around the edges: when and where to click, and how many times—it’s never perfectly clear. Cells in a table just don’t provide the mouseover feedback that regular components do. If only a JTable behaved like a bunch of components thrown into a giant GridBag or TableLayout

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