Giving Thanks To Arcane Programming Languages

Like many software developers, I have toyed with many languages over the years. Some languages have grown in popularity and others have waned. Today, I would like to give thanks to those esoteric, arcane, rare and industry changing languages in a nice A-Z listing. Some are old, some are new, some are popular, some are not and some are just plain odd. However, without people trying to create these languages, we would never see any innovation. So, let’s give thanks to all these languages.

  • A is for Algol 60, which can be considered the father of structured programming languages.
  • B is for BCPL, which we can blame for the travesty that is C.
  • C is for Clipper, and we hope you never used it.
  • D is for Dylan, which is like LISP without parentheses.
  • E is for Eiffel, which has some cool features that still are not in Java.
  • F is for Factor and Forth, because everyone loves stacks.
  • G is for Go, as proof of what happens when Rob Pike and Ken Thompson get bored.
  • H is for Haskell, one of a host of functional languages.
  • I is for Inform, giving life to interactive fiction.
  • J is for Java, because so few languages start with J.
  • K is for KRL, a frame-based knowledge representation language.
  • L is for LISP, because we love our silly parentheses.
  • M is for Modula-2, mainly because you probably didn’t know there was a Modula or a successor named Modula-3.
  • N is for NATURAL, which I have never actually seen used, just discussed.
  • O is for Oberon, because Objective-C gets too much publicity already.
  • P is for Prolog, progamming logic never seemed so fun.
  • Q is for Qt, although it is more of an application framework.
  • R is for REXX, an interpreted glue language inflicted upon us by IBM.
  • S is for SNOBOL, one of the first string processing and manipulation languages.
  • T is for Tcl, which eventually grew a Tk appendage.
  • U is for UNITY, because parallelism is cool and flow control is for the weak.
  • V is for Verilog, a hardware description language.
  • W is for WebGL, bringing OpenGL to JavaScript.
  • X is for XQuery, because even XML needs a programming language.
  • Y is for Yorick, and all those graphs and simulations.
  • Z is for Zsh, one of the many Unix shells.

Lastly, many thanks to Wikipedia for the “History of Programming Languages”, “List of Programming Languages”, “Timeline of Programming Languages” and much information about the languages themselves.

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