Monday, January 17, 2011

If Programming Languages Were Television Shows

I’m working on a more substantial post that compares several programming languages on a single problem. In the meantime, I give you something frivolous; my take on…

If Programming Languages Were Television Shows

F#Mythbusters. We don't just explain the functional programming myths, we put them to the test. (Am I missing an eyebrow?)

Haskell – The Saturday-afternoon calculus course from the local community college on the public access channel.

Fortran – An old movie, a perennial favorite with classic actors, and the credits arranged in a matrix.

Java – Something on a business channel with a scrolling stock ticker and announcers who wear kakis and blue button-downs.

C# – Just like Java, but with fancier graphics on the stock ticker and announcers who wear power ties.

Python – Financial advice for the small investor. It seems sound, but which way will the market trend?

C/C++ – Some PBS hippie show about growing and canning your own vegetables. Who needs garbage collection when you can compost?

Lua – A late-night foreign art film in black and white by a visionary director. Deep, but will it find enough sponsors to go prime time?

RubyStar Trek. Geeky, gadgety, and tough on newcomers, but a fiercely loyal fan base will keep this series in syndication for a while. Beam me up, Matz!

FORTHThe Woodwright’s Shop. Watch a guy make handmade furniture using handmade tools. Be careful of splinters.

Assembly Language - A test pattern.

COBOL – Something on the radio your parents or grandparents used to listen to.

(Sorry, COBOL geeks, I couldn't resist that last one, lol. We love you anyway.)



David Keaveny said...

I think the whole post was a set up so that you could slip in the garbage collection joke. Bravo!

TechNeilogy said...

Thanks! Believe it or not, I thought of that last night and added it in an edit today. Even humor is subject to refactoring, lol.

Anonymous said...

PHP: NCIS. Kind of boring. Never wins any awards. A bit behind the cutting edge.

But its the most watched scripted show on TV. By far.

TechNeilogy said...

I like it! Nice pun, too.

Anonymous said...

Javascript: American Idol. It's really a very powerful idea, but a lot of it is absolute crap. Still, a few bits of it are absolutely spectacular, and it's eight of the top ten most popular shows of the last decade.

funkyboy said...

What about Lisp?

TechNeilogy said...

Good one! Thanks.

TechNeilogy said...

Lisp, eh? Funny you should mention that, since I'm currently re-reading Abelson and Sussman and implementing a small Scheme interpreter. I'd probably have to go with something on CSpan. Either that, or World's Dirtiest Jobs, lol.

Anonymous said...

Lisp would be a how-to show about how to direct, film and star in your own TV shows.

TechNeilogy said...

Exactly! That's a pretty good description of Abelson and Sussman section 4.1.

John | Retro Programming said...

C: The Top Gear of programming languages.

Smalltalk: a Japanese gameshow aired at 2am. It looks kinda cool if only you could figure what's going on.

John | Retro Programming said...

Pascal: Masterchef, it looks arty, tastes amazing, but when it comes down to it not really practical.

BASIC: The One Show, covers everything but nothing in depth. Popular with a certain type of programmer.

Alex Humphrey said...

Maybe XML would be the commercials?

TechNeilogy said...

Thanks John and Alex! I like all those, but especially the choices for Xml and Smalltalk.