?

Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile Previous Previous Next Next
Language Computeer
Fists of irony
trochee
trochee
History of [Programming] Languages
My younger, smarter brother points out the O'Reilly poster documenting the family tree of programming languages.

I think it's interesting to compare it to the family trees of Indo-European languages -- it's a very different shape, natch. There's lots more cross-fertilization in programming than in natural language. Of course, one has to wonder how much of the cross-fertilization in [human] language change goes ignored in plots like these approximations of language histories.

Another nice feature of the O'Reilly poster is that it shows the duration of various [programming] languages -- most of the old ones (Forth, anybody?) have petered out, but O'Reilly shows the sheer persistence (for example) of C. Some family trees of programming languages don't do this nearly as well, though to be fair that's not necessarily what they set out to do.
3 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 17th, 2004 07:10 pm (UTC) (Link)

Forth is still kicking!

hey, don't knock forth! it's actually still used far more often than you realize (though you may not know that you are using it). Open Firmware, which is the PowerPC (macintosh) architecture equivalent of the x86 (intel) architecture's BIOS (and a direct offspring of Sun's OpenBoot) actually runs a forth interpreter you can use without booting an OS. (and it's used, albeit minimally, each time an OF machine boots.)


See Amit Singh's great page on Open Firmware (http://www.kernelthread.com/mac/osx/arch_boot.html) for a good intro, or Apple's Open Firmware Working Group (http://bananajr6000.apple.com/) page (dig that URL!).


a lot of this stuff has a remarkably long shelf-life once it's in place and functioning. witness all the systems that still needed people fluent in COBOL around the whole y2k ridiculousness.


it's like they say: Programming is like sex: make one mistake, and support it for the rest of your life...

xaosenkosmos From: xaosenkosmos Date: June 17th, 2004 11:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
From "Some": Sather looks, uh, interesting. Incoming arrows from Modula-3, Eiffel, Pascal, Smalltalk-80, C++, ObjC, and CLOS (which has an indirect arrow from Lisp).

My poor little brain just can't wrap itself around that prospect.

I can't help but snicker at the fact that there are about four language families: Basic, APL, ML, and the rest. Especially since "the rest" seems to culminate in C# =)
From: epanastatis Date: June 18th, 2004 06:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Of course, one has to wonder how much of the cross-fertilization in [human] language change goes ignored in plots like these approximations of language histories.

It looks like, "entirely". There's not even a dotted line to hint at the tremendous infusion of French vocabulary into English.

3 comments or Leave a comment