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Jul 9 2007   6:17PM GMT

Code to Joy’s 7 Wonders of Programming Languages

GuyPardon Guy Pardon Profile: GuyPardon

It’s been quite a week for wonders of the world. First, the online world got together and voted for seven modern wonders of the world, provoked by the lonely status of the Pyramids as the last remaining example of the ancient wonders. (For those that love these kinds of lists, Wonderclub.com has put together their own indices of global wonders, including ancient, modern and natural versions.)

My eye was drawn, however, to this list of programming languages from Code to Joy, where computer scientist, philosopher and cyberscriber M. Easter has “compiled” his own, “admittedly biased,” list of languages. In chronological order, here are the languages that the digital composer thought were the seven wonders of the coding world:

  1. Fortan
  2. Lisp
  3. Smalltalk
  4. C
  5. Python
  6. Java
  7. Javascript

Now, no doubt many of you are already grumbling. What about C++, Visual Basic, COBOL, Perl or APL? What about the sexy new kid on the block, Ruby? What about PHP, ubiquitous on the Linux servers that underpin today’s database-driven Internet?

Several comments on Easter’s post have already listed those examples, protesting Easter’s choices, along with .NET, Forth, SKILL, Objective-C, Haskell and others. As usual, everyone has an opinion — especially on a rather subjective subject like this.

Whew! Editing a list like this isn’t easy, of course, and it’s much easier to criticize than create. What do you think? When you look at the history of code, as illustrated in this exceptional diagram of the evolution of programming languages (hat tip to M) which do you think are “wonders of the programming world?”

What would your list look like?

My own line in the sand, in case you were wondering, would (in no particular order) reads follows:

  1. Javascript
  2. Java
  3. C
  4. Ruby
  5. COBOL
  6. Perl
  7. Python

Agree? Disagree? Think the whole thing is preposterous? Comment away.

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