Humourous looks at programming languages

from "Quick C" by Al Stevens

COBOL was designed so that managers could read code.
BASIC was designed for people who are not programmers.
FORTRAN is for scientists.
ADA comes from a committee - a government committee no less.
PILOT is for teachers.
PASCAL is for students.
LOGO is for children
APL is for martians.
FORTH, LISP and PROLOG are speciality languages.
C, however, is for programmers.

Selecting a Programming Language Made Easy

Daniel Solomon & David Rosenblueth
Department of Computer Science, University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1
September 1986 issue of "SIGPLAN Notices" (Volume 21, number 9)

With such a large selection of programming languages it can be difficult to choose one for a particular project. Reading the manuals to evaluate the 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 language, we have prepared a chart that matches programming languages with comparable automobiles.

A Formula I race car. Very fast, but difficult to drive and expensive to maintain.
A Model T Ford. Once it was king of the road.
A Model A Ford.
A six-cylinder Ford Fairlane with standard transmission and no seat belts.
A delivery van. It's bulky and ugly, but it does the work.
A second-hand Rambler with a rebuilt engine and patched upholstry. Your dad bought it for you to learn to drive. You'll ditch the car as soon as you can afford a new one.
A Cadillac convertible with automatic transmission, a two-tone paint job, white-wall tires, chrome exhaust pipes, and fuzzy dice hanging in the windshield
A black Firebird, the all-macho car. Comes with optional seat belts (lint) and optional fuzz buster (escape to assembler).
An Austin Mini. Boy, that's a small car.
A Volkswagon Beetle. It's small but sturdy. Was once popular with intellectuals.
Modula II
A Volkswagon Rabbit with a trailer hitch.
An Astin Martin. An impressive car, but not just anyone can drive it.
An electric car. It's simple but slow. Seat belts are not available.
Prototype concept-cars.
All-terrain vehicles.
A go-cart.
A kiddie's replica of a Rolls Royce. Comes with a real engine and a working horn.
A double-decker bus. Its 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.
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 specification are starting to clear up.


a Citroen 2CV. Small, simple, and light. Can be easily understood by almost anybody and can be completely dissassembled with one spanner (whilst in motion). Most missing features can be added.
a Harvester school bus, full of classes of chattering kids. Sure is slow but everybody gets to school. Previouly used by a bunch of hippies and pranksters to tour round parks in California. Still shows it's psychedelic origins in its paint job and windows.
a blue SAAB 96. Been around since the early 70s, but still runs fine despied its mileage. Still uses the original 3 cyclinder engine. Difficult to get parts, but the owner would never dream of selling it. A classic.
a Honda CRX 1.6i 16 valve. Compact and sporty, but safe. Elegantly engineered, with just enough room for two people. Almost as quick as a Firebird, but handles better in the wet. Body shape very similar to the SAAB 96.
Fortran 8X
Ford's new prototype car for the 1990's. Still not released. Believed to be a cross between a Ford Pinto and a Abrams tank, it has the firepower of the former and the fuel consumption of the latter. Still capable of using spare parts from a Model T. Expected to find widespread use in industry as a tow truck.

kurt@tc.fluke.COM (Kurt Guntheroth)

De Lorean. Very powerful, modern look, but it is built on a standard Firebird chassis and uses standard Firebird engine. Instrumentation is ultra-modern, but looks in some cases as if the designers had been doing a little cocaine. Eight point safety harness standard, but seat belt buzzer can be disabled.

How to Determine Which Programming Language You're Using (Brian Pane)

The proliferation of modern programming languages which seem to have stolen countless features from each other sometimes makes it difficult to remember which language you're using. This guide is offered as a public service to help programmers in such dilemmas.

You shoot yourself in the foot.
You crash the OS and overwrite the root disk. The system administrator arrives and shoots you in the foot. After a moment of contemplation, the administrator shoots himself in the foot and then hops around the room rabidly shooting at everyone in sight.
You accidently create a dozen instances of yourself and shoot them all in the foot. Providing emergency medical care is impossible since you can't tell which are bitwise copies and which are just pointing at others and saying, "that's me, over there."
If you are dumb enough to actually use this language, the United States Department of Defense will kidnap you, stand you up in front of a firing squad, and tell the soldiers, "Shoot at his feet."
After realizing that you can't actually accomplish anything in the language, you shoot yourself in the head.
You can't remember the syntax for anything, so you spend five hours reading man pages before giving up. You then shoot the computer and switch to C.
You spend so much time playing with the graphics and windowing system that your boss shoots you in the foot, takes away your workstation, and makes you develop in COBOL on a character terminal.
You hear a gunshot, and there's a hole in your foot, but you don't remember enough linear algebra to understand what the hell happened. (RAMontante)

You shoot yourself in each toe, iteratively, until you run out of toes, then you read in the next foot and repeat. If you run out of bullets, you continue anyway because you have no exception- processing ability.
You shoot yourself in the foot with a musket. The musket is esthetically fascinating, and the wound baffles the adolescent medic in the emergency room.
USEing a COLT45 HANDGUN, AIM gun at LEG.FOOT, THEN place ARM.HAND.FINGER on HANDGUN.TRIGGER, and SQUEEZE. THEN return HANDGUN to HOLSTER. Check whether shoelace needs to be retied.
Shoot self in foot with water pistol. On big systems, continue until entire lower body is waterlogged.
You consume all available system resources, including all the offline bullets. The DataProcessing&Payroll Department doubles its size, triples its budget, acquires four new mainframes, and drops the original one on your foot.
You grab your foot with your hand, then rewrite your hand to be a bullet. The act of shooting the original foot then changes your hand/bullet into yet another foot (a left foot).
You shoot yourself in the appendage which holds the gun with which
you shoot yourself in the appendage which holds the gun with which
you shoot yourself in the appendage which holds the gun with which
you shoot yourself in the appendage which holds...
You shoot yourself in the appendage which holds the gun with which
you shoot yourself in the appendage which holds the gun with which
you shoot yourself in the appendage which holds the gun with which
you shoot yourself in the appendage which holds...
...but none of the other appendages are aware of this happening.
You put your foot in your mouth, then bite it off.

wallacen@CS.ColoState.EDU (nathan wallace)

Foot in yourself shoot.
You shoot yourself in the foot, then spend all day trying to figure out how to do it in fewer characters.
The compiler won't let you shoot yourself in the foot.
foot.c foot.h foot.o toe.c toe.o
%rm * .o
rm:.o: No such file or directory
You tell your program you want to be shot in the foot. The program figures out how to do it but the syntax doesn't allow it to explain.
370 JCL
You send your foot down to the MIS department with a 4000 page document explaining how you want it to be shot. Three years later, your foot comes back deep fried with a bill for $375,000.00.
You train the network in how to shoot your foot, after which it generalizes and keeps trying to locate some guy named Connor on the net...
You create 10,000 strings describing the best way to shoot yourself in the foot. By the time the program produces the optimal solution, humans have evolved wings and the problem is moot.
another version