[Skip Navigation] [Remove Frame] [CS320] [Text Version] guide.html Sat Dec 23 07:59:59 PST 2006

Contents


    CS320 Consumers Guide to Programming Languages

    It can be difficult to choose a language for a particular project. Most people already have a fairly good idea of how various means of transportation compare. So here is a list that matches programming languages with modes of transportation. Note, certain fashion words (Visual, Object-oriented, Structured, Modular, Aspect-oriented, Concurrent, ...) are attached (like tail fins and spoilers) to most languages. They help sell the language.


    (Ada 83): A Sherman Tank
    (Ada 95): 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.
    (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. Manuals written in Double Dutch.
    (ANSI C): A Camaro (See K& R C below)
    (APL): A double-decker bus. Its takes rows and columns of passengers to the same place all at the same time. But, drives only in reverse gear, and is instrumented in Greek.
    (Assembler): A Formula I race car. Fast, but unsafe and expensive to maintain. Asbestos underwear standard equipment.
    (awk sed lex yacc ...): Broomsticks. Not for muggles.
    (BASIC): A secondhand Rambler with a rebuilt engine and patched upholstery. Your dad bought it for you to learn to drive. You'll ditch it when you can afford a new one.
    (BEALGOL): An Austin 1100. Larger and more powerful than the Austin Mini.
    (C++): A Z car - classy with many options and too much power for normal drivers.
    (C#): the PL/I of the new millennium.
    (CPL): Ford Edsel. Clever idea that nobody bought.
    (COBOL): A delivery van. It's ugly, but it does the work.
    (dBase): Baja bug - looks fun, and supposed to handle rough ground, but it's stripped down Pascal with roll bars.
    (ECMAScript): See JavaScript
    (Eiffel): A Volvo, well-engineered but not popular.
    (Focus): an M1 tank.
    (FORTH): A go-cart.
    (FORTRAN II): A Model T Ford. Once it was king of the road.
    (FORTRAN IV): A Model A Ford
    (FORTRAN 77): A six-cylinder Ford Fairlane with standard transmission and no seat belts.
    (FORTRAN 90): Quality is Job One ... but delivered 3 years late. (HTML. A paper airplane.
    (Jovial): A biplane adopted by the USA air force.
    (Java): A kit-car. Virtual engine runs on any fuel.
    (JavaScript): In-car entertainment system. See LiveScript - Nothing to do with Java.
    (JCL): A pair of rubber boots. Down to earth, cumbersome, step by step, and ugly.
    (JSP): A kit for making paper airplanes.
    (K&R C): A black Firebird, the all-macho car. Comes with optional seat belts (lint).
    (LISP): An electric car. Clean, functional but slow.
    (LiveScript): See ECMAScript
    (LOGO): A kiddie's replica of a Rolls Royce. Comes with a real engine and a working horn.
    (Maple/MACSYMA/Mathematica): All Terrain Vehicles.
    (Modula II): A VW Rabbit with a trailer hitch. Imports go better.
    (Modula III): A VW Passat.
    (Pascal): A VW Beetle. It's small but sturdy. Popular with intellectuals. Goes on for ever.
    (Perl): Sports Utility Vehicle. Designed to do everything. Gas guzzler. Crashes. Drives like a WWII Jeep. Inspires intense loyalty.
    (PHP): A paper airplane factory.
    (PL/I): A Cadillac convertible with automatic transmission, two-tone paint job, whitewall tires, chrome exhaust pipes, and fuzzy dice hanging in the windshield.
    (PROLOG): a Concept-car. You give it a map and say where you want to go. It drives you there.
    (Python): Nimbus 2000 broomstick.
    (Ruby): Firebolt broomstick.
    (Scheme): A hybrid electric/gasohol auto.
    (SQL): A car salesman - answers question.
    (UML): Blueprints and designs.
    (UNIX Bourne Shell): Roller skates.
    (UNIX C Shell): Skate board. Wear pads!
    (UNIX Korn shell): Roller Blades.
    (Visual BASIC): See BASIC. Nice Dash-board!
    (XML): Design it yourself model airplane.
    (Z): A peddle bike. Good exercise for the rider.

End