The Programming Languages collection.

Basic, n.:
A programming language. Related to certain social diseases in that those who have it will not admit it in polite company.

Goto, n.:
A programming tool that exists to allow structured programmers to complain about unstructured programmers.

Pascal, n.:
A programming language named after a man who would turn over in his grave if he knew about it.

The C Programming Language
A language which combines the flexibility of assembly language with the power of assembly language.

A race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.

The Lesser-known programming languages

SIMPLE is an acronym for Sheer Idiot's Monopurpose Programming Language Environment. This language, developed at the Hanover College for Technological Misfits, was designed to make it impossible to write code with errors in it. The statements are, therefore, confined to BEGIN, END and STOP. No matter how you arrange the statements, you can't make a syntax error. Programs written in SIMPLE do nothing useful. Thus they achieve the results of programs written in other languages without the tedious, frustrating process of testing and debugging.

This otherwise unremarkable language is distinguished by the absence of an "S" in its character set; users must substitute "TH". LITHP is said to be useful in protheththing lithtth.

SLOBOL is best known for the speed, or lack of it, of its compiler. Although many compilers allow you to take a coffee break while they compile, SLOBOL compilers allow you to travel to Bolivia to pick the coffee. Forty-three programmers are known to have died of boredom sitting at their terminals while waiting for a SLOBOL program to compile. Weary SLOBOL programmers often turn to a related (but infinitely faster) language, COCAINE.

Named after the late existential philosopher, SARTRE is an extremely unstructured language. Statements in SARTRE have no purpose; they just are. Thus SARTRE programs are left to define their own functions. SARTRE programmers tend to be boring and depressed, and are no fun at parties.

This language was named for the grade received by its creator when he submitted it as a class project in a graduate programming class. C- is best described as a "low-level" programming language. In fact, the language generally requires more C- statements than machine-code statements to execute a given task. In this respect, it is very similar to COBOL.

The laws of programming

A Law of Computer Programming:
Make it possible for programmers to write in English and you will find the programmers cannot write in English.

Brook's Law:
Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later.

By the way ...

Real Programmers don't write in PL/I. PL/I is for programmers who can't decide whether to write in COBOL or FORTRAN.

Q: How many IBM cpu's does it take to do a logical right shift?
A: 33. 1 to hold the bits and 32 to push the register.

Programmers In Flight

At a recent computer software engineering course in the US, the participants were given an awkward question to answer:

"If you had just boarded an airliner and discovered that your team of programmers had been responsible for the flight control software, how many of you would disembark immediately?"

Among the ensuing forest of raised hands only one man sat motionless. When asked what he would do, he replied that he would be quite content to stay on board. With his team's software, he reasoned, the plane was unlikely to even taxi as far as the runway, let alone take off.