De' fliengde Vuogtlänn'r

Observations, rants, etc. from a guy who really gets around.


Selecting A Programming Language

Every craftsman knows that the secret to success lies in using the right tools. This is no less true for computer programmers. However, with such a large selection of programming languages, it can be difficult to choose the best one for a particular project. Reading the manuals to evaluate languages is a time-consuming process. On the other hand, most people already have a fairly good idea of how various automobiles compare. So, in order to assist those trying to choose a programming language, we have prepared a list that matches programming languages with automobiles.

Assembler: A Formula 1 race car. Very fast, but difficult to drive and expensive to maintain.

FORTRAN II: A Model T Ford. Once, it was king of the road.

FORTRAN IV: A Model A Ford.

COBOL: A delivery van. It's bulky and ugly, but it gets the job done.

BASIC: A second-hand Rambler with a rebuilt engine and patched upholstery. Your Dad bought it for you to learn to drive. You'll ditch it as soon as you can afford a new one.

PL/1: A Cadillac convertible with automatic transmission, a two-tone paint job, whitewall tires, chrome exhaust pipes, and fuzzy dice hanging from the rear-view mirror.

C: A black Firebird -- the all-macho car. Comes with optional seat belts (lint) and optional fuzz-buster (escape to Assembler).

ALGOL 60: An Austin Mini. Boy, that's a small car!

ALGOL 68: An Astin Martin. An impressive car, but not just anyone can drive it.

Pascal: A Volkswagen Beetle (old style). It's small, but sturdy. Was once popular with pseudo-intellectuals.

Modula II: A Volkswagen Rabbit with a trailer hitch.

LISP: An electric car. It's simple, but it's slow. Seat belts are not available.

PROLOG/LUCID: Prototype "concept" cars.

Maple/MACSYMA: All-terrain vehicles.

FORTH: A go-cart.

LOGO: A kiddie car replica of a Rolls-Royce. Comes with a real engine and working horn.

APL: A double-decker bus. It takes rows and columns of passengers to the same place, all at the same time. But it drives only in reverse gear, and is instrumented in Greek.

Ada: An Army-green Mercedes-Benz staff car. Power steering, power brakes, and automatic transmission are all standard. No other colors or options are available. If it's good enough for the generals, it's good enough for you. Manufacturing delays due to difficulties reading the design specs are starting to clear up.

RPG II: An old school bus parked in the back yard. The head gasket is blown, the tranny slips, the carburetor needs rebuilding, and two tires are flat.

RPG III: The same as RPG II, except that the two flat tires are white walls.

Happy Motoring!


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