Tuesday, September 05, 2006
THE PROGRAMMER'S QUICK GUIDE TO THE LANGUAGES
The proliferation of modern programming languages (all of which seem to have stolen countless features from one another) sometimes makes it difficult to remember which one you're currently using. This handy reference is offered as a public service to help programmers who find themselves in such a dilemma.
TASK: Shoot yourself in the foot.
C: You shoot yourself in the foot.
C++: You accidentally create a dozen instances of yourself and shoot them all in the foot. Providing emergency medical assistance is impossible since you can't tell which are bitwise copies and which are just pointing at others and saying, "That's me, over there."
FORTRAN: You shoot yourself in each toe, iteratively, until you run out of toes, then you read in the next foot and repeat. If you run out of bullets, you continue with the attempts to shoot yourself anyways because you have no exception-handling capability.
Pascal: The compiler won't let you shoot yourself in the foot.
Ada: After correctly packing your foot, you attempt to concurrently load the gun, pull the trigger, scream, and shoot yourself in the foot. However, when you do, you discover you can't because your foot is of the wrong type.
COBOL: Using a COLT 45 HANDGUN, AIM gun at LEG.FOOT, THEN place ARM.HAND.FINGER on HANDGUN.TRIGGER and SQUEEZE. THEN return HANDGUN to HOLSTER. CHECK whether SHOELACE needs to be re-tied.
LISP: You shoot yourself in the appendage which holds the gun with which you shoot yourself in the appendage which holds the gun with which you shoot yourself in the appendage which holds the gun with which you shoot yourself in the appendage which holds the gun with which you shoot yourself in the appendage which holds the gun with which you shoot yourself in the appendage which holds...
FORTH: Foot in yourself shoot.
Prolog: You tell your program that you want to be shot in the foot. The program figures out how to do it, but the syntax doesn't permit it to explain it to you.
BASIC: Shoot yourself in the foot with a water pistol. On large systems, continue until entire lower body is waterlogged.
Visual Basic: You'll really only _appear_ to have shot yourself in the foot, but you'll have had so much fun doing it that you won't care.
HyperTalk: Put the first bullet of gun into foot left of leg of you. Answer the result.
Motif: You spend days writing a UIL description of your foot, the bullet, its trajectory, and the intricate scrollwork on the ivory handles of the gun. When you finally get around to pulling the trigger, the gun jams.
APL: You shoot yourself in the foot, then spend all day figuring out how to do it in fewer characters.
SNOBOL: If you succeed, shoot yourself in the left foot. If you fail, shoot yourself in the right foot.