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

Honestly, I lost where I got this link from.  Maybe Slashdot.  But it’s brilliant in its snarkiness and honesty at the same time.  From James Iry’s blog, One Div Zero, I bring you A Brief, Incomplete, and Mostly Wrong History of Programming Languages.

A few of my favorite entries on his list to tempt you:

  • 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.
  • 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.

If you’re more interested in actual facts (that’s crazy talk!), there’s The Programming Languages Genealogy Project, and The History Of Programming Languages.


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