A brief history of programming languages: someone didn't like flower brackets, so he invented Python

Editor's note: There are thousands of programming languages, but only 10 or so are popular. Who created all those programming languages that we use regularly and when? Casper Beyer has put it together for us.


Joseph Marie Jacquard taught a loom to read perforated cards, creating the first highly multi-threaded processing unit. His invention was strongly opposed by the textile workers who foresaw the birth of the Skynet.


Ada Lovelace (daughter of the English poet Byron) was bored by the noble and scribbled notebooks of what was subsequently identified as the first computer program released, because the slight inconvenience was that there were no computers yet.


Alan Turing invented everything, but the British courts didn't approve and sentenced him to chemical castration.

The Queen later forgave him, but unfortunately he had long since passed away by then.


Alonzo Church (an important founder of algorithm theory) invented everything just like Turing, but he was from the other side of the river and wasn't neutered.


John Backus created the FORTRAN language, which was the first language used by real programmers.


Grace Hopper invented the first business-oriented programming language for businesses and called it "common business-oriented language", or COBOL.


John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz decided that programming was too hard and needed to go back to its roots, and they called their programming language BASIC.


Niklaus Wirth developed several languages, and the last to become popular was PASCAL. He likes to develop languages.

He also invented Wirth's Law that made Moore's Law obsolete (software gets slower faster than hardware gets faster) because software developers would write bloatware that even mainframes couldn't keep up with. This was later proven to be true - after Electron.js was invented.


Dennis Ritchie got bored working at Bell Labs, so he decided to write C with flower brackets, and the language became a huge success. He then added developer-friendly features such as segmentation errors to aid in increasing productivity.

After tossing around the language he had time, so he and his buddies at Bell Labs decided to make a demo program for C, and they came up with an operating system, UNIX.


Alan Kay invented an object-oriented language that he called Smalltalk, in which everything is an object, even an object is an object. No one has really figured out what SMALL TALK means.


Larry Wall had religious experience, he became a pastor, and turned Perl into a doctrine.


Jean Ichbiah noticed that Ada Lovelace's program never actually ran and decided to develop a language in her name, but the language still didn't run.


Brac Box and Tol Move decided to make an unreadable version of C based on Smalltalk, which they called Objective-C, but nobody could figure out its syntax.


Bjarne Stroustrup went back to the future and noticed that C wasn't taking enough time to compile, so he added every feature he could think of and called it C++.

Everywhere programmers have embraced it because it makes it seem more sincere for them to find excuses to watch a cat video and xkcd comics while they're at work.


Guido van Rossum didn't like braces, so he invented Python, an inspiration for grammar choices from Monty Python and Flying Circus.


Roberto Ierusalimschy and his friends thought they needed a Scripting Language for Brazilian localization, and an error occurred during localization that started with the pointer from 1 instead of 0, which they called Lua.


Rasmus Lerdorf made a template engine for the CGI scripts for his personal homepage, and later he put all his information online.

The world decided to use these things for everything, and Rasmus then hastily made some database bindings into them and called the language PHP.


Yukihiro Matsumoto is not very happy, as he notices that the other programmers are not very happy. He created Ruby to keep programmers happy. After he created Ruby, "Matz" was happy, the Ruby community was happy, and everyone was happy.


Brendan Eich spent his weekend designing a language that he intends to use to power every major browser in the world and eventual Skynet. He first found Netscape then said the language was called Live, but during the code review Java became popular so they decided it was best to go with flower brackets and renamed it Java.

As it turned out, Java was a trademark that would get them into trouble, and Java later changed its name to ECMA, but people still called it Java.


James Gosling invented Java, the first object-oriented language that was really too cumbersome, where design patterns completely overwhelmed pragmatism.

Thus was born the super effective manager provider, container provider, service provider, single manager provider model.


Anders Hejlsberg reinvented Java and then called it C#, because programming in C felt cooler than Java. Everyone loves this new version of Java because it's nothing like Java.


David Hanselmeyer Hansen created a web framework called Ruby on Rails, and since then people no longer remember that Ruby and Rails are two separate things.


John Resig wrote a help library for Java, everyone thought it was a language, and copying and pasting jQuery code from the Internet has been a profession ever since.


Ken Thompson and Rob Pike decided to make a language like C, but with a safer device, and a better selling face, and with Gopher (the sac rat) as a mascot.

They made the language into Go and made it open source then additionally sold Gopher trademarked knee pads and helmets as a source of revenue.


Graydon Hoare also wanted to make the language C, which he called Rust. Everyone asked to rewrite every piece of the software with Rust right away. Graydon wanted to do something a little brighter and started developing Swift for Apple.


Anders Hjelsberg wanted to write C# inside a web browser, so he designed Type, which is actually Java, but with more Java stuff in it.


Jeremy Ashkenas wanted to be as happy as a Ruby developer, so he created Coffee, something that compiles like Java but looks more like Ruby. Jerry never became as truly happy as Matz and Ruby developers.


When Chris Lattner did Swift, its main design goal was to not be Objective-C and it ended up looking like Java.

From the compilation team. Edited by Hao Pengcheng.

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