Selecting a Programming Language Made Easy
Daniel Solomon & David Rosenblueth
Department of Computer Science
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1
With such a large selection of progamming languages, it can be
difficult to choose one for a particular programming project. Reading
the manuals to evaluate the languages is a time consuming process. On
the other hand, most people already have a fairly good idea of how
various automobiles compare. So in order to assist those trying to
choose a language, we have prepared a chart that matches programming
languages with comparable automobiles.
An army-green Mercedes-Benz staff car. Power steering, power brakes, and
automatic transmission are all standard. No other colors or options are
available. If it's good enough for the generals, it's good enough for
you. Manufacturing delays due to the difficulties reading the design
specifications are starting to clear up. Has trouble getting up to speed
due to all the armor plating.
- ALGOL 60
An Austin Mini. Boy, that's a small car.
- ALGOL 68
An Aston Martin. An impressive car, but not just anyone can drive it.
A double-decker bus. It takes rows and columns of passengers to the same
place all at the same time. But, it drives only in reverse gear and is
instrumented in Greek.
A Formula I race car. Very fast, but difficult to drive and expensive to
A second-hand Rambler with a rebuilt engine and patched upholstry. Your
dad bought it for you to learn to drive. You'll ditch the car as soon as
you can afford a new one.
A black Firebird, the all-macho car. Comes with optional seat belts
(lint) and optional fuzz buster (escape to assembler).
A delivery van. It's bulky and ugly, but it does the work.
- FORTRAN II
A Model T Ford. Once it was king of the road.
- FORTRAN IV
A Model A Ford.
- FORTRAN 77
A six-cylinder Ford Fairlane with standard transmission and no seat
An electric car. It's simple but slow. Seat belts are not available.
A kiddie's replica of a Rolls Royce. Comes with a real engine and a
Abolish cars and install moving sidewalks through the city. (LUCID is a
data flow language.)
All-terrain vehicles. Will operate on the road (integer and floating
point numbers), off the road (rational numbers), and in the swamp
- Modula II
A Volkswagen Rabbit with a trailer hitch.
A Volkswagen Beetle. It's small but sturdy. Was once popular with
A Cadillac convertible with automatic transmission, a two-tone paint
job, white-wall tires, chrome exhaust pipes, and fuzzy dice hanging in
Put all the buildings on wheels and move them around the city.