Thursday, June 15, 2006

And for all the nerds out there A free article from American Scientist. Haven't read the whole thing yet, but having straddled both realms -- computer science and archaeology -- for some time now, a lot of this is a trip down memory lane:

The Semicolon Wars
The creators of a new programming language are not just adding variety for its own sake; they are trying to make something demonstrably better. But the very fact that the proliferation of languages goes on and on argues that we still haven't gotten it right. We still don't know the best notation—or even a good-enough notation—for expressing an algorithm or defining a data structure.

There are programmers of my acquaintance who will dispute that last statement. I expect to hear from them. They will argue—zealously, ardently, vehemently—that we have indeed found the right programming language, and for me to claim otherwise is willful ignorance. The one true language may not yet be perfect, they'll concede, but it's built on a sound foundation and solves the main problems, and now we should all work together to refine and improve it. The catch, of course, is that each of these friends will favor a different language. It's Lisp, says one. No, it's Python. It's Ruby. It's Java, C#, Lua, Haskell, Prolog, Curl.

Pascal roolz, C droolz, btw.