links for 2010-03-31

  • Typical non-programmer question: Why are there so many programming languages? Why doesn’t everyone just pick the best one and use that?

    Fair enough.

    The definition of the term “computer language” can be really nebulous if you encounter someone who is in the mood to engage in social griefing through pedantry. Instructions for a machine to follow? Does that include 19th century player pianos? Machine code? Flipping switches and wiring on those first-gen electric computer-type contraptions? Considering over half the “language” consists of dragging and dropping icons, does Scratch count?

    Let’s just sweep that all aside and assume languages began with the idea of stuff like COBOL and FORTRAN and we don’t care to refine the definition further. Humor me.

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