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?

3 thoughts on “If programming languages were literary genres…

  1. Larry O'Brien

    Haskell would be modern literary fiction in the manner of D.F. Wallace: Always reminding you of the brilliance of its creator while, admittedly, being brilliant. You must, whenever asked, praise its brilliance, even though you privately consider it somewhat wearisome.

  2. Larry O'Brien

    Ruby and Python would be noir — first enjoyed because its easy, but over time you realize that there are master stylists doing work every bit as good as that praised in academia

Comments are closed.