Monthly Archives: June 2011

If programming languages were literary genres…

25 June 2011

From a conversation at the pub this evening with Jonathan and Glenn

  • JavaScript would be science fiction. Easy to get into, and while there’s an incredible amount of crap out there, there are also many gems that, carefully considered, will completely change your outlook.
  • C and C++ would be “literary” fiction. Somewhat old-fashioned, occasionally brilliant, but frequently clunky and never quite as good as its devotees and creators like to think it is…
  • LISP and Scheme would be obscure branches of poetry; densely packed with information, a few words express something that would take that would take tens of thousands to express in other languages. But only a few dozen people in the world would understand it.

…and somewhere around there, we ran out of steam. Java as corporate mission statements? Not quite… VBA as newspaper cartoons? Hmm. COBOL as… God only knows. And we couldn’t even place Python.

Anyone got any ideas?