If programming languages were cars...

This is an update to an old series of jokes about computer languages being like cars. I've added some more modern languages to the list. Any suggestions are welcome!

Note: It seems that Digg/Reddit/StumbleUpon have dug/read/stumbled upon this page, with the result that I've received a ton of new suggestions. This is just an illustration of Vanier's Law: "Given enough time, any programming-related rant, no matter how inane, will eventually be posted on Reddit/Digg/StumbleUpon etc." Thanks to all who sent me their suggestions; I've sifted through them and added the ones I liked to the page. I've also added some suggestions from the comments page on digg.com below, without permission; if you are the author and object, I'll be happy to remove it. If I didn't post your suggestion, please realize that it's not personal; it's only because I'm an asshole with no sense of humor.

Also, some people speculated on my own preference in languages. I'm a functional programming weenie (some would even say a smug one), so my preferences run roughly like this: Haskell > Ocaml > Scheme/Lisp > Erlang > Python/Ruby > C. There are other languages I like (e.g. Prolog and Smalltalk), but I don't work with them to any significant degree. And there are languages I hate, which I won't talk about here in the interests of avoiding pointless flame wars (by which I mean people sending me emails telling me "YOU SUCK!"). Also, TCL fans: thanks for the suggestions, but I didn't find one that seemed funny enough and/or apt enough to include, so keep trying.

Believe it or not, this page has been translated into Russian. Thanks to Nick Gorbikoff for the translation. This article has also been translated into Arabic. I don't know the author's name, but I thank him (or her) too.


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Go back to my home page. Last updated April 11, 2017

Mike Vanier (mvanier@cs.caltech.edu)