Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Brief, Incomplete, and Mostly Wrong History of Programming Languages

1801 - Joseph Marie Jacquard uses punch cards to instruct a loom to weave "hello, world" into a tapestry. Redditers of the time are not impressed due to the lack of tail call recursion, concurrency, or proper capitalization.

1842 - Ada Lovelace writes the first program. She is hampered in her efforts by the minor inconvenience that she doesn't have any actual computers to run her code. Enterprise architects will later relearn her techniques in order to program in UML.

1936 - Alan Turing invents every programming language that will ever be but is shanghaied by British Intelligence to be 007 before he can patent them.

1936 - Alonzo Church also invents every language that will ever be but does it better. His lambda calculus is ignored because it is insufficiently C-like. This criticism occurs in spite of the fact that C has not yet been invented.

1940s - Various "computers" are "programmed" using direct wiring and switches. Engineers do this in order to avoid the tabs vs spaces debate.

1957 - John Backus and IBM create FORTRAN. There's nothing funny about IBM or FORTRAN. It is a syntax error to write FORTRAN while not wearing a blue tie.

1958 - John McCarthy and Paul Graham invent LISP. Due to high costs caused by a post-war depletion of the strategic parentheses reserve LISP never becomes popular[1]. In spite of its lack of popularity, LISP (now "Lisp" or sometimes "Arc") remains an influential language in "key algorithmic techniques such as recursion and condescension"[2].

1959 - After losing a bet with L. Ron Hubbard, Grace Hopper and several other sadists invent the Capitalization Of Boilerplate Oriented Language (COBOL) . Years later, in a misguided and sexist retaliation against Adm. Hopper's COBOL work, Ruby conferences frequently feature misogynistic material.

1964 - John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz create BASIC, an unstructured programming language for non-computer scientists.

1965 - Kemeny and Kurtz go to 1964.

1970 - Guy Steele and Gerald Sussman create Scheme. Their work leads to a series of "Lambda the Ultimate" papers culminating in "Lambda the Ultimate Kitchen Utensil." This paper becomes the basis for a long running, but ultimately unsuccessful run of late night infomercials. Lambdas are relegated to relative obscurity until Java makes them popular by not having them.

1970 - Niklaus Wirth creates Pascal, a procedural language. Critics immediately denounce Pascal because it uses "x := x + y" syntax instead of the more familiar C-like "x = x + y". This criticism happens in spite of the fact that C has not yet been invented.

1972 - Dennis Ritchie invents a powerful gun that shoots both forward and backward simultaneously. Not satisfied with the number of deaths and permanent maimings from that invention he invents C and Unix.

1972 - Alain Colmerauer designs the logic language Prolog. His goal is to create a language with the intelligence of a two year old. He proves he has reached his goal by showing a Prolog session that says "No." to every query.

1973 - Robin Milner creates ML, a language based on the M&M type theory. ML begets SML which has a formally specified semantics. When asked for a formal semantics of the formal semantics Milner's head explodes. Other well known languages in the ML family include OCaml, F#, and Visual Basic.

1980 - Alan Kay creates Smalltalk and invents the term "object oriented." When asked what that means he replies, "Smalltalk programs are just objects." When asked what objects are made of he replies, "objects." When asked again he says "look, it's all objects all the way down. Until you reach turtles."

1983 - In honor of Ada Lovelace's ability to create programs that never ran, Jean Ichbiah and the US Department of Defense create the Ada programming language. In spite of the lack of evidence that any significant Ada program is ever completed historians believe Ada to be a successful public works project that keeps several thousand roving defense contractors out of gangs.

1983 - Bjarne Stroustrup bolts everything he's ever heard of onto C to create C++. The resulting language is so complex that programs must be sent to the future to be compiled by the Skynet artificial intelligence. Build times suffer. Skynet's motives for performing the service remain unclear but spokespeople from the future say "there is nothing to be concerned about, baby," in an Austrian accented monotones. There is some speculation that Skynet is nothing more than a pretentious buffer overrun.

1986 - Brad Cox and Tom Love create Objective-C, announcing "this language has all the memory safety of C combined with all the blazing speed of Smalltalk." Modern historians suspect the two were dyslexic.

1987 - Larry Wall falls asleep and hits Larry Wall's forehead on the keyboard. Upon waking Larry Wall decides that the string of characters on Larry Wall's monitor isn't random but an example program in a programming language that God wants His prophet, Larry Wall, to design. Perl is born.

1990 - A committee formed by Simon Peyton-Jones, Paul Hudak, Philip Wadler, Ashton Kutcher, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals creates Haskell, a pure, non-strict, functional language. Haskell gets some resistance due to the complexity of using monads to control side effects. Wadler tries to appease critics by explaining that "a monad is a monoid in the category of endofunctors, what's the problem?"

1991 - Dutch programmer Guido van Rossum travels to Argentina for a mysterious operation. He returns with a large cranial scar, invents Python, is declared Dictator for Life by legions of followers, and announces to the world that "There Is Only One Way to Do It." Poland becomes nervous.

1995 - At a neighborhood Italian restaurant Rasmus Lerdorf realizes that his plate of spaghetti is an excellent model for understanding the World Wide Web and that web applications should mimic their medium. On the back of his napkin he designs Programmable Hyperlinked Pasta (PHP). PHP documentation remains on that napkin to this day.

1995 - Yukihiro "Mad Matz" Matsumoto creates Ruby to avert some vaguely unspecified apocalypse that will leave Australia a desert run by mohawked warriors and Tina Turner. The language is later renamed Ruby on Rails by its real inventor, David Heinemeier Hansson. [The bit about Matsumoto inventing a language called Ruby never happened and better be removed in the next revision of this article - DHH].

1995 - Brendan Eich reads up on every mistake ever made in designing a programming language, invents a few more, and creates LiveScript. Later, in an effort to cash in on the popularity of Java the language is renamed JavaScript. Later still, in an effort to cash in on the popularity of skin diseases the language is renamed ECMAScript.

1996 - James Gosling invents Java. Java is a relatively verbose, garbage collected, class based, statically typed, single dispatch, object oriented language with single implementation inheritance and multiple interface inheritance. Sun loudly heralds Java's novelty.

2001 - Anders Hejlsberg invents C#. C# is a relatively verbose, garbage collected, class based, statically typed, single dispatch, object oriented language with single implementation inheritance and multiple interface inheritance. Microsoft loudly heralds C#'s novelty.

2003 - A drunken Martin Odersky sees a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup ad featuring somebody's peanut butter getting on somebody else's chocolate and has an idea. He creates Scala, a language that unifies constructs from both object oriented and functional languages. This pisses off both groups and each promptly declares jihad.

Footnotes

  1. Fortunately for computer science the supply of curly braces and angle brackets remains high.
  2. Catch as catch can - Verity Stob

Edits

  • 5/8/09 added BASIC, 1964
  • 5/8/09 Moved curly brace and angle bracket comment to footnotes
  • 5/8/09 corrected several punctuation and typographical errors
  • 5/8/09 removed bit about Odersky in hiding
  • 5/8/09 added Objective-C, 1986
  • 5/8/09 added Church and Turing
  • 4/9/10 added Ada (1983) and PHP(1995)

735 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   401 – 600 of 735   Newer›   Newest»
ivotron said...

Very funny! What about D?

Oscarspaz said...

What about Rebol by Carl Sassenrath?

SpaghettiCode said...

That was one of the most hilarious timelines I've every read. Thanks for making my sunday. :D

None said...

Very funny. You should be on TV.

Besserweiser said...

There was a guy in 1939 who thought he should show the world and Poland The One Way.

Krzysiek Troszczyński said...

'cos polish can manage 'it' many different ways. McGyver must be polish :)))  

prateek singh said...

I’m impressed!!!
Really informative blog post here my friend. I just wanted to comment &
say keep up the quality work.
London Hotels 

Danieltoner said...

in am new zealander :]

CarlaDavis said...

whats funny about that?

Hyhyy said...

k.

douche said...

good for you. No-one cares

DanK said...

One of the funniest, most brilliant things I have ever read.  For those who miss Algol in the list, I respectfully offer:
1960 - A committee of Latin scholars recognize the importance of having a intricate dead language that subsequent languages can be simpler than and yet similar to, while all being different from each other.  Resentful that computer science students will have more lucrative careers than ancient language students, they extract revenge  by prohibiting all input or output and adding uncompilable semantics.  Algol is born.  All existing keyboards without curly set brackets are obsolete, and destroyed in a giant bonfire.

DanK said...

Sorry for error, should read:  "an intricate".

John Walling said...

The history of programming languages without mentioning Forth or MUMPS, is like the history of breakfast cereals without mentioning Fruit Loops or Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs.

Roman Kl said...

Thank you for good review and useful tips. Nice work. If software needs to be improved, use outsource software development company that provides  software reengineering service for business automation.

Mark Hurd said...

Surely VB.NET and a couple of the esoteric languages, probably BrainFuck, Malbolge and, say, Whitespace, should be mentioned.

Anon E. Mouse said...

Forth?

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Achin Sharma said...

super lol.. :D however you should consider node.js maybe?

Dale Davies said...

This had me in stitches, very funny and pretty informative too :)

Eric_Brooks_1956 said...

Very funny.  Thanks!!!  Had me crying I was laughing so hard.

Pitfiend said...

were's alcohol... err... sorry... i mean... (hip)... algol...

Dontwrite said...

This is great - I was laughing aloud.  However, I am missing the language Whitespace: http://compsoc.dur.ac.uk/whitespace/
You could e. g.  describe it by one seemingly empty line and a footnote.

One more thing: There is a rule that one must not talk about Lisp without mentioning homoiconicity and macros.

Dominique Ramirez said...

Ha!!!  ;-)  Thanks for this...  It was very funny...

user-uknown said...

In the early 40ies, Konrad Zuse invented Plankalkül, based on the work of Alonzo Church for his Z3 (which was never build). Plankalkül got implemented about 50 years later, without the interesting 2dimensional layout.

Enrique Zamudio said...

What about Groovy?

Geoffroy Couprie said...

Please add one more:
1986: the roommates Donald Chamberlin and Raymond Boyce design SQL in order to sort clean and dirty socks, pizza boxes and beers. Their failed attempt to apply the relational model to their own relations led to the popularity in geek circles of the NoSQL movement.

Val Vakar said...

Thanks much! I'll never see programming the same way again.

Bartek Kuczyński said...

Hm... if I good remember Larry Wall to invent Perl use his cat. Throw them on keyboard and then said something like "Ok... let's make this random string to write 'Hello World!'"...

jfmiller28 said...

Erlang?

Cafe24 said...

At last! I found a good post like this.. Thanks for this informative post! By the way, can you write a post about flickr seo factors? Thanks again!

Cafe24 said...

At last! I found a good post like this.. Thanks for this informative post! By the way, can you write a post about flickr seo factors? Thanks again!

Peti said...

Great!

Francis Devereux said...

Java was heavily influenced by Objective C

Erik said...

Thank God I learned Assembler....

LukasEder said...

Awesome! Say, when were Groovy and SQL invented?

Alexei Baboulevitch said...

Best thing I've ever read.

samuel16004 said...

Good

Mite Mitreski said...

Rich Hickey 2007 Clojure

Jimmt said...

More heavily by C++.

TerraHertz said...

It's... it's... Beauuuutiful! 
Now where's the comical poster to go with it?
Something like:
Evolution of programming languages - poster.http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3409774http://oreilly.com/news/graphics/prog_lang_poster.pdfHere's the original source: http://www.levenez.com/lang/lang.pdfAlso... Unix history: http://www.levenez.com/unix/unix.pdfWindows history: http://www.levenez.com/windows/windows.pdf
Except much less accurate please.

Btw, fetching 426 comments a dozen at a time via 'show more comments' gets a bit tame after a while.

TerraHertz said...

Well that's an interesting entry script bug. Again, with extra LF:
http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3409774
http://oreilly.com/news/graphics/prog_lang_poster.pdf

 http://www.levenez.com/lang/lang.pdf

http://www.levenez.com/unix/unix.pdf

http://www.levenez.com/windows/windows.pdf

Historian said...

You forgot:

1967 - World's first object oriented language is created. It introduced objects, classes, subclasses, virtual methods, coroutines and features garbage collection

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simula

Fred099 said...

Love it. But no occam and csp?

Krylon said...

Hilarious! I had to hold on to my chair in order not to fall off laughing! Thank you very much!

Pazinfernando said...

Amazing!

soh_la said...

very funny

Daniel Wroblewski said...

What about SQL? And don't say, "SQL is neither structured, nor a query, nor a language."

Sasmito Adibowo said...

Objective-C is as influential as C# is, only about two decades older.

Bjarte S. Karlsen said...

Epic blogpost!

GreatArticle said...

Oooh, oooh, do Clojure next!

Jean-Francois Bocquet said...

Objective-C was a reaction against C++ and was very much influenced by smalltalk. Java was influenced by smalltalk, by the lessons learned from Objective-C and by the defects of C++. 

prantels said...

Why "Poland becomes nervous"? Don't get that one.

TomLove said...

flisSpeaking of being "mostly wrong" --

Objective-C actually preceded C++ as a commercial product. It was released by PPI, a company that Brand and i co-founded on June 6, 1983. Prior versions of this language were developed at ITT and called OOPC. OOPC was not as strongly influenced by Smalltalk. I was the first commercial user of Smalltalk at Schlumberger in 1982. I have the first Objective-C user guide published when the product was released in November 1983. Neither Brad nor I am dyslexic!

Before C++ had its current name, Brad and i met with several people at Bell Labs, including Bjorne Stroustrop. We tried to merge the two efforts but were unsuccessful. I even paid for Bjarne to come to Sandy Hook and join Stepstone. He has denied that this meeting ever took place -- my bound, numbered, and dated journals record the details of this meeting.

In 1988 I met an engineer working at NeXT at a trade show in Los Angeles at our booth. Based upon that conversation, I rearranged my flight and stopped off at the new NeXT computer office in Palo Alto, where I met with Steve Jobs and began the process of convincing them to use Objective-C. PPI had raised venture capital and renamed, Stepstone, at this time.

By 1994, the tables were turned and Jobs came to visit me at Morgan Stanley hoping to sell a few thousand NeXT machines. I refused to meet with him until he resolved contract issued with Stepstone. He did; we met, had a nice Sushi dinner, and kicked off a project to evaluate NeXT and Objective-C for use at Morgan Stanley.

Brian Cuthbertson said...

That was awsome!! Thanks!!

Anonymous Coward said...

Oh god, please add Go! to this list

Jens Hausherr said...

It was the primary language for the NeXT platform, sooo... it si in a way historical ;)

greyfade said...

... And fixes none of those defects. :)

MikeLaidlaw said...

In my mind, the ECMA quip moves this from hilarious to brilliant. That said even though I treat my kids for the (skin) condition every day, and treat (myself) for the programming condition every week or so.

suslamo said...

Hilarious! But no APL? Really?

Athox said...

He must have confused Guido with Hitler. Common mistake, they're both men.

Matt Shlosberg said...

You've made my day with Perl

Daniel Butler said...

yes but C# was not put in here because it was influential or used a lot. It's put in here solely because it's almost a direct knock off of Java.

Jake Eakle said...

This is pretty much the best thing ever. One typo: "in an Austrian accented monotones."

Anders said...

No, it wasn't.  Unless you count "don't do like C++" to mean heavily influenced. :)

Anders said...

You forgot the Norwegian language Simula, in which object orientation was invented by pure chance.  It influenced C++ but not SmallTalk.

Yes, it was designed to write simulation programs with.  That is why it uses objects.

Viorel Cosmin Miron said...

Cars are exactly built in the same way, sad but true!

Prasanth Nath said...

Loveeeeellllyy! 

Zak said...

1967: Ole-Johan Dahl and Kristen Nygaard invent Simula.  Simula is a relatively verbose, garbage collected, class based, statically typed, single dispatch, object oriented language with single implementation inheritance and multiple interface inheritance. The Norwegian Computing Center loudly heralds Simula's novelty.

azav said...

Don't forget John Thompson's Lingo, the language that powered many a CDROM in the 1990s.  Also Hypertalk and AppleScript.

Guest said...

To be fair to PHP, it's documentation is top notch. Regrettably, documentation tends to be the highlight of the language.

Patate said...

what about html ?

LanX said...

what about TCL? :)

carlo said...

asdasfadf

yahoo-ZOFTMHXLG6PZ6RVD5PKSY5ESAQ said...

Where is Brainfuck? (Bash) Shellscript or Jscript?

unix find command said...

Indeed brilliant.

Anonymous said...

badom-tsch

Thomas Løcke said...

This was absolutely brilliant. Turned an otherwise grey and gloomy day into something much less grey and gloomy. Awesome!

Guest said...

You have completely forgotten Simula, the language that started object orientation. Object orientation in turn spawned books such as "Object Thinking" which seems to  suggest that any inanimate object is actually a separate thinking entity.

Belgorod said...

Nice! And what about LUA?

James Tryand said...

where's Clojure?

Alex said...

what about Logo? (making all 5 year olds start programming)

TheFingerPointer said...

You forgot Simula, the really important little Norwegian langauge that nobody has really heard about or used.

Neorou said...

Sasmito Adibowo is a Javanese name, I wonder if the name bearer speaks Javanese? I think there are more people who read and write java than those that speak Javanese if at all...

JohnH said...

Not bad.  But Ole-Johan Dahl and Kristen Nygaard invented Objects/OO programming in Simula-67 quite a few years before Smalltalk.  No doubt it was overlooked because it uses := for the assignment operator as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simula_67 

Devin said...

Eeeeeyyyyooooooooooooo!

Some_guy said...

It's also heavily used for iPhone and iPad development. Last quarter Apple sold:
5.2 million Macs
37.04 million iPhones
15.4 million iPods (~half are iPod Touch)
15.43 million iPads

That's a total of 65.37 million devices Objective C is used to develop for in one 3 month period. Seems significant to me even without NeXT.

tim finin said...

Bad date for Scheme.  It probably should be 1975.  See http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/5794

Jonathan C Dickinson said...

Or MonoDroid - and very likely some x-platform tech I am unaware of. As far as I know Java doesn't like Apple - apparently an Apple in a Mocha would have worked out better.

Jon Smith said...

I'd add Algol to any list.  First language to be formally specified by BNF,  many math algorithms were formally specified in Algol, most 'direct' parent of Pascal.  Also, 'thunk's and jensen's device are just way cool.  Might have been a bigger player if invented in the US and if I/O specifications had not been left as an exercise to the compiler developer.

root@localhost said...

Java is a garbage language.  It's slow, un-secure, etc.  And I agree with the part about Objective-C not being worth any real note in history, as it powers Apple and nothing else.  Coincidentally, Apple has never really made anything UNIQUE, they just steal everyone's idea, and Steve Jobs was just a good hype man/marketer. lol

Cranky Old Thunker said...

Sadly forgotten from the back passages of 1960s history are the grand exalted mother of all block-structured langauges, Algol, and her astonishingly way-way-ahead-of-its-time fully object-oriented and class-structured and garbage-collected immediate superset, SIMULA.   Pascal was an explicitly dumbed-down version of Algol, designed just to introduce programming at school.  Pretty well all the subsequent block-structured and OO languages are not-especially-remarkable descendants of SIMULA.

PurpleVermont said...

Hilarious!  But you forgot APL

Pjay (Patti) Pender said...

Um...proof that geeks and nerds are mostly a little bit Aspie!

johny said...

programmable hyperlinked pasta..???!!! awesome..!! :D

Shana said...

Apple is just a massive marketing con anyway so it doesn't matter.

Wes Frazier said...

Any chance of adding my current darling Vala ?

jadbox.com said...

there should be more fun poked at Java and C# based on the context of the other languages.

Sankalp Khare said...

Bloody Amazing!!@ :D #rofl

mattgrommes said...

I know the quote from DHH is fake since it doesn't have any pointless cursing in it.

Sam Figueroa said...

LMAO thx for this. 

Oliver Mitevski said...

Of all the things he could have written for java. 
Other than that great job.

Arun Bala said...

Nice!

Andremm said...

you missed Lua.

Igor Bazarny said...

I would also add Algol 68 with standards titled 'Report' and 'Revised Report'. Nobody ever mastered number of 'ref' you need to use in various conditions

ArrayList Example in Java said...

how about Java some says its history goes back to 1990 ?

Louis Cipher said...

1990  - John Ousterhout ends the polytheism on data types. "Everythng is a string" now and just needs The Concatenating Language "TCL".

Ramazan Geven said...

pascal?

Rodrigo Vieira said...

The SmallTalk one is the best! That´s  actually how many programmers describe Object Orientation, hahaha!

IBM Series 1 said...

In 1959 a group of characters who assembled themselves in the order IBM, left a pile of blank dollar bills under an oak tress in the hot summer sun. They decided the spots were significant enough to be called a programming language which produces more spots on papers. When they ran the program, it spit out another random assembly of characters, RPG. This programming language is the choice of terroritsts world-wide.

RKPetry said...

Babbage could not build his Computing Engine in his day-- till the Pentagon had inflated the price of screws to $69 ea. Now, 1.2GHz Computing Engines come in tablet size....

(P.S. I'm a UCSD grad so I know why Algol namecalls led to the invention of Pascal after I left.)

Christopher Milton said...

What about APL?!

Nivth Ket said...

Hah, you need to add Dart.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dart_(programming_language) 
Being developed by Google.

Bambling said...

Charles Babbage weeps for lack of cred ;)

vishnusuresh said...

This is Epic.

off topic
to apple fanboys: please don't ruin this for the rest of us.

NiciEvans-MeMyself said...

I want this, time-line style, pinned around my cubicle walls.

U R Awesome, this is hilarious.

nabellaleen said...

I think it's really important to add Bertrand Russel ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bertrand_Russell ) & Kurt Gödel ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_G%C3%B6del ) for theirs work about logicism and particularly the Gödel's incompleteness theorems ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6del%27s_incompleteness_theorems ) wich is a sort of "base" for Turing's work.

Jonathan Dunlap said...

[...] and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals creates Haskell. Haha! I think this is excellent satire for Haskell'ers being rather "idealistic" ;)

David said...

Haha, thanks that was entertaining. Just what i needed on a friday

BobL said...

You can stick with C++ on iPhones - and many folks do for some reason :-)

Adr_rine said...

No pithy APL comment? :-(

None said...

ALGOL (mid50) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ALGOL
RPG (1959) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_RPG

Colin said...

So "nomal" (where the leading "ab" are silent) C is renamed "C Blunt"...

Agocorona said...

The simplest show-up (for haskell programmers) that monads are monoids in the cetegory of endofunctors

http://haskell-web.blogspot.com.es/2012/07/from-monads-to-monoids-in-small.html 

Sourav Datta said...

Hilarious! :D

Miles Fidelman said...

Hilarious!  Might want to add Erlang.  (and Brainfuck, for completeness).

Rohit5 said...

Indeed, It's simply fantastic specially for java

Queen_g Bush said...

hummmmmmm

ton y D said...

All this and no mention of Algol

Leif Johansson said...

mmm monads

Charles said...

Hamurabi invents FOCAL in c.1760 BC to help him budget 67 bushels of corn and avoid a fiscal hanging garden.

Evan Plaice said...

Objective-C created but the jihadists as a social engineering DDOS attack against the internet and western capitalism by feeding the inferiority complex of the outspoken Apple fanbois community. Despite the best efforts of Wordpress, Instagram, and Pinterest to contain the fallout. Their protest, 'Occupy the Internets' is still ongoing.

Siddhartha Gadgil said...

Brilliant.

somercet said...

Dude, either it was in there or he added it later.

somercet said...

This criticism occurs in spite of the fact that C has not yet been invented.

1. Hahahahahah!! 2. I love C syntax.

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And has anyone studied from this course http://www.wiziq.com/course/2118-learn-how-to-program-in-c-language of C tutorial online?? or tell me any other guidance...
would really appreciate help

Weird Languages said...

Nothign to say about the one liner, write only APL ?  or the Stanford incrnation of objetc orientd: MainSail ??

phun_ky said...

Yeah, why isn't Simula/Simula67 represented here?

Leo Horovitz said...

Ha!

bsrikanto said...

Bill Gates and Steve Jobs have changed Computer history completely. But the interesting part is who is known as father of computers- Charles Baggage did not know that he would make an important place in history with his invention. Modern computers based on integrated circuits are millions to billions of times more capable than the early machines, and occupy a fraction of the space. Simple computers are small enough to fit into mobile device, and mobile computer can be powered by small batteries. Personal computers in their various forms are icon of the Information Age and are what most people think of as "computers". It was a great invention of world history.
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wind power generator
solar and power
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Anonymous said...

ALGOL60!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

msm 2e4d354d said...

God refused to add Go to this list.

Nicolas Goles said...

Lua is missing here, invented in Brazil ftw.

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Garrick said...

Not funny... at all. What as waste of 30 seconds of my time.

Peter Renshaw said...

no JavaScript?

Terrence Andrew Davis said...

Holy C: templeos
http://www.templeos.org/Wb/Doc/HolyC.html

Mike said...

A brief, incomplete, and mostly wrong blog comment : frist!!!

someguy said...

Assembly didn't make the list?

hi there said...

For my BASIC parser, you created an infinite loop by saying "go to this list"! It keeps going to the list and coming back to the comments.

Archimedes deSilva said...

Bad cough.

Keith Thompson said...

Hilarious! (Except for the parts about languages I like; those are horrible.)

Jarno Peschier said...

Excellent! Except that this nowhere mentions C# adopting functional language concepts like lambda expressions and monads under the influence of Erik "the Tie Dye King" Meier, while initially disguised as SQL in order not to scare the natives...

Mike said...

1960 - Kenneth E. Iverson and Adin Falkoff, fed up with being told their programs have syntax errors, invent A Programming Language in which almost any string is syntactically valid

martin dugdale said...

yes, yes yes!

wzis said...

missing ALGOL 60, and ALGOL 68

Tim Hanson said...

Funniest geeky thing (and geekiest funny thing) I have read in some time. How to work in snob oil and simula? Never mind.

Bruno Jouhier said...

Great!!

Just one note: Objective-C was already available in 84-85. Wikipedia page says it appeared in 83

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Teuku Asri said...

Languages wars are usually sad but languages history is definitely funny! Thanks.

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Teuku Asri said...

That was excellent.

First useful use of a blog ever.

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charles babbage said...

where is RPG ?
with RPG, a programmer could freeze the hell

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Konrad said...

what about Zuse?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this, it's very humorous! I laughed a lot, you have a good sense of humour!

Jono said...

One might ask what happened to assembler, but as Steve Ciarcia quipped in Circuit Cellar in 1985: "My favourite programming language is solder".

Serdar said...

What's with Google GO and Brainfuck?

Serdar said...

Oh and D from Digital Mars

Ralph Siegler said...

ahead of its time, when threaded with silk, it could even make productive use of bugs.

reflog said...

Brilliant!

InvaderACE said...

Should have added Simula-67, the first object oriented language (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simula)

InvaderACE said...

ObjectiveC and C++ is about the same age (79-80 timeframe) and ObjectiveC is not a reaction to c++

Tri Nguyen said...

Would be great to put all of this on a visual slider to click through?

eximzer said...

I guess you should mention Anders Hejlsberg for another big hit 90's language...

johannes_rudolph said...

"It is a syntax error to write FORTRAN while not wearing a blue tie."

I think I got a typing error on that one but maybe things have changed since I tried.

sharm el-sheikh airport said...

can see this is going to be the same with all API's that Google
announce. Introduce them for free, sites get developed around them and
then once hooked developers/web site owners are hit with charges.
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OliverC said...

1942 - Plankalkül is missing - the first high level programming language. A history of programming languages is none without it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plankalk%C3%BCl

OliverC said...

PS: Its shortcoming was probably to use umlauts even in its name, when the Unicode spec was not yet fully finalized...

Sudhir DBAKings said...

Nice post very helpful

dbakings

Victor Miller said...

Thanks. The best laugh I've had in a week.

What about FORTH, APL, PL/I or ALGOL (original and '68)? And what about CPL -> BCPL -> B ->C?

Josue Ibarra said...

Awesome, thanks!

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version2beta said...

Um, Forth?

Siilk said...

Hilarious! Made my day!

Casey said...

Ahahha, this was great.

UncleB said...

Love it!

JC said...

I almost choked to death drinking my coffee whilst reading your article. Who can I sue about such reckless use of humor.

Dan Lentz said...

Well done. I was 2 paragraphs past "key algorithmic techniques such as recursion and condescension" before it hit me :)

john smith said...

HAH!!! great job. scary how many of these langs I have used - and even know some too.

Nopro said...

Paul Graham didnt invent Lisp in 1958.

Rajesh Bansal said...

Hey Hey Hey!!! Where's Go?!!!!!

Nick Harris said...

Prof James Steinberg has used your work as a chapter in his book "Hello, World!": The History of Programming - I hope he asked for your permission first.

Roger Keulen said...

1965 - Kemeny and Kurtz go to 1964.

(Yep, that made me smile....)

Eric des Courtis said...

Erlang?

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Venkatesh-Prasad Ranganath said...

"It's objects all the way down. Until you reach turtles". I can't seem to stop smiling at the connection to a picture in "Logicomix".

Jimmy said...

Php has good documentation, though! Should have said, the syntax remains faithful to that napkin.

Jim said...

The prior comment was made about 6 months after the first iphone was released. Dude

ben said...

Python's "There is only one way to do it!" philosophy sometimes leads to rigid thinking and intolerance - both within the Python community itself, and directed from the Python community outwards to programmers of other languages.

Combine that with the whole "dictator for life" meme attached to the inventor, it can sometimes give off a "slightly fascist" vibe (an exaggeration of course, but you get the idea).


The "Poland becomes nervous" line is an ironic allusion to that.

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