May 09, 2010

A brief, incomplete and mostly wrong history of programming languages, 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. 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.
  • I especially like "Skynet is nothing more than a pretentious buffer overrun", "Capitalization Of Boilerplate Oriented Language (COBOL)" and "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." And "Programmable Hyperlinked Pasta (PHP)" explains why ever since I've learned PHP, I prefer Rotele (corkscrew) pasta to all other kinds.
  • 1958 - John McCarthy and Paul Graham invent LISP. Graham loudly, and successfully, protested against the opportunity of naming it LITHP and invoking an apocalyptic infinite recursion that would tear apart the space-time continuum if it was ever run on GNU, which was fortunate as GNU wasn't invented then.
  • Just when I was getting bored, I got to: 1964 - John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz create BASIC, an unstructured programming language for non-computer scientists. 1965 - Kemeny and Kurtz go to 1964.