Friday, August 23, 2013

Absolute Genius - A Brief, Incomplete - and Mostly Wrong - History of #Programming Languages ...

Found this at a blog called One Div Zero - hilarious, so long as you're a geek and know a bit about the *real* history of computing. Here's an extract, with a link to the full article.

1801 - Joseph Marie Jacquard uses punch cards to instruct a loom to weave "hello, world" into a tapestry. Redditers of the time are not impressed due to the lack of tail call recursion, concurrency, or proper capitalization.
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.
1936 - Alan Turing invents every programming language that will ever be but is shanghaied by British Intelligence to be 007 before he can patent them. 
1936 - Alonzo Church also invents every language that will ever be but does it better. His lambda calculus is ignored because it is insufficiently C-like. This criticism occurs in spite of the fact that C has not yet been invented. 
1940s - Various "computers" are "programmed" using direct wiring and switches. Engineers do this in order to avoid the tabs vs spaces debate.
1957 - John Backus and IBM create FORTRAN. There's nothing funny about IBM or FORTRAN. It is a syntax error to write FORTRAN while not wearing a blue tie. 
1958 - John McCarthy and Paul Graham invent LISP. Due to high costs caused by a post-war depletion of the strategic parentheses reserve LISP never becomes popular[1]. In spite of its lack of popularity, LISP (now "Lisp" or sometimes "Arc") remains an influential language in "key algorithmic techniques such as recursion and condescension"[2]. 
1959 - After losing a bet with L. Ron Hubbard, Grace Hopper and several other sadists invent the Capitalization Of Boilerplate Oriented Language (COBOL) . Years later, in a misguided and sexist retaliation against Adm. Hopper's COBOL work, Ruby conferences frequently feature misogynistic material.
 Read the full article here - it's well worth it ...