All of the major news media have announced the results of the massive effort to vote on the "New 7 Wonders of the World". This is an update to the venerable list of antiquity.
I have my own list in mind, and will probably blog soon, but I thought it might make an interesting topic for JR:
What are the 7 wonders of the world of programming languages?
The hardest part of making such a list is often (a) what is the criteria and (b) which languages to _exclude_ ??
On my list so far: Fortran, Lisp, C, Java. I'm twiddling the other 3. Will have to think on it. e.g. if I go with popularity and show respect to Cobol, then that sort of implies Visual Basic. Yet having both of those languages on my list is just wrong.
First, I would probably choose Prolog over Lisp -- although neither language is in popular use today. I never understood why Lisp became the AI language of choice, while Prolog, which is much better IMO, didn't.
Second, I would put Pascal on the list. I really liked that language, and spent many years working with it. Today, Pascal programmers are probably using Delphi -- the object oriented version of Pascal.
Third, I would also put Assembly on the list. Spent many years doing device drivers for DOS (intel 80x86), and quite frankly, there is some nostalgia for it.
Fourth, I agree with C. For me, that was the "high level" language that was able to even replace assembly. And although, I worked with C++ for many years, I just thought it was okay.
Fifth, I agree with Java. It is what C++ should have been... nuff said.
Sixth, I would choose TCL. (which is actually only a scripting language) I know there are tons of people who would disagree here, as there are many issues with it... But IMO, this language is my choice (even over Perl) because it was the first language that had extensions. And I used two of those extensions -- TK and Expect -- for many years.
Although Pascal has had a bigger impact, I'd go for Oberon instead (which became a full operating system, in addition to being a programming language).
Niklaus Wirth's paper From Modula to Oberon is a fascinating read about how to create a successor to a language by pruning many of its features.
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I'll have to check out the Oberon article... It sounds like it might be very relevant to the scene in Java today?
re: C++. I think C++ was vastly important as a transitional language. Sort of like in evolution, where there is one species that crosses the divide. e.g. an amphibian that lays eggs. Perhaps that species doesn't last in the long run, but it was massively important.