Programming Language Wars: The Movie

In computer science and hacker circles, the programming language wars have, it seems, been raging since the beginning of time. A little electronic archaeology reveals some amusing exchanges:

  • "By all means create your own dialect of FORTH. While your at it, you can add the best features of PL-I, F77 and CORAL66. Then, look me up when you get out of college and we'll show you how it's done when you have to make a living" [1985 thread]
  • "This debate ... is very much like two engineers engaged in building a three-mile bridge arguing over the brand of blue-print paper they use." [1987 thread]

Passionate arguments can often be improved by actual measurements. How fast, expressive, and efficient is a particular language? That's what The Computer Language Benchmarks Game set out to provide, measuring time, source code length, and memory use of several dozen languages across a set of benchmarks.

If you have measurements, why not improve them with a visualization? And so I present to you an interactive, multi-dimensional, dynamic, whizbang-o-matic rendering of the Programming Language Wars.