James Iry’s history of programming languages (illustrated with pictures and large fonts)

jacquard Ada Lovelace Alan Turing 04-church 05-bartik 06-backus 07-mccarthy 08-hopper 09-kemeney-kutz 10-steele 11-wirth 12-ritchie-thompson 13-colmerauer 14-milner 15-kay 17-stroustrup 18-cox 19-wall 20-haskell 21-rossum 22-lerdorf 23-hansson 24-eich 25-gosling 26-hejlsberg 26-odersky

–This post is a tribute to James Iry’s fantastic One Div Zero blog.

This entry was posted in IT, musings, science and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

65 Responses to James Iry’s history of programming languages (illustrated with pictures and large fonts)

  1. valbonneconsulting says:

    Reblogged this on Valbonne Consulting and commented:

    an amusing and partially correct history of programming languages 🙂


  2. Anonymous says:

    Forgot to include Wolfram Alpha which is the program language developed for longest and never published 🙂


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  8. Zekemeout says:

    Reblogged this on Memories Not Allocated and commented:
    So, today I found this article and I could only understand 1/3 of the jokes. There’s still a long way to go.


  9. manters2000 says:

    Very humoristic post! Educational and entertaining as well 🙂


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  11. Aaron McRuer says:

    1991: Sir Timothy Berners-Lee is working at CERN on a NeXTSTEP workstation when he discovers that the computer programmers in his office had once again wrapped his car in plastic wrap. Determined to get his ultimate revenge, Berners-Lee invents a new computing platform that requires three different languages to make one program, interprets these languages differently on different machines, and puts the critical controls over the runtime environment out of the programmer’s direct control.

    Web development is born.


  12. What about Pier Giorgio Perotto and his Programma 101?


  13. Merenguero says:

    What about Konrad Zuse and Plankalkül?


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  15. parthibann says:

    Why Ritchie alone in color?


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  17. ychaouche says:

    There’s also TCL missing


  18. Christopher Brinkley says:

    The Whitespace language deserves an entry — http://compsoc.dur.ac.uk/whitespace/. It’s very practical because it uses only nonprinting characters. 😉


  19. timrowledge says:

    Smalltalk was invented in 1969, not 1980.


    • And Smalltalk was invented by Alan Kay by combining ideas about object orientation already invented by Nygård and Dahl in the mid sixties and embedded in the Simula (67) language and ideas about functional programming introduced by McCarthy even before that 🙂 (this is of course acknowledged by Kay, and Smalltalk did add a lot of interesting things to the field of computing, of which object orientation itself was strangely enough not one 🙂


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  22. 1964 – Canada invents A Programming Languaje, J, Q, K and other alphabet letters not yet in use at the time. APL results too complicated for humans so it’s included in NASA’s Voyager 1 Golden Record as it seems extremly likely Aliens will be afraid of it and desist from destroying the Earth.


  23. Mikael Fors says:

    You also forgot Rebol…. By Carl Sassenrath who also wrote the AmigaOS kernel Exec if I’m not wrong


  24. Anonymous says:

    Where’s node?


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  26. Anonymous says:

    It’s Alan Kay, not Jean Ichbiah on the picture for Ada.


  27. Arham says:

    where’s Groovy and James Strachen?? 😦


  28. Anonymous says:

    i couldn’t finihs the article cause there’s a bug on year 1964-1965, that causes infinite loop.
    there should be “if this is not your first time through 1964 go to 1970”


  29. darinbob says:

    Too bad there’s no XML mentioned here. I am still strongly convinced that XML was invented as a practical joke that went awry when pointy haired managers adopted it wholesale.


  30. Ajinkya says:

    Amazing post, never know this history of programming languages.


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  33. P. says:

    ML 1973? Really? Milner was teaching me theory in 1973 and I have no recollection of him ever mentioning it. Probably a good thing.


  34. Robert says:

    Surely LINDA would have generated an interesting addition to this sequence? 🙂


  35. Abhishek says:

    Absolute absurd. Paul graham invented LISP along with McCarthy? Graham wasn’t even born then.


  36. dasmb says:

    So great. You did forget about the 1970s invention of SQL (Structured Query Language), an attempt by three gentlemen of IBM to brown nose promotions by designing a language that was just English-like enough software managers thought they understand it. Supplanted in 2007 by NoSQL databases, which by avoiding queries, language and structure are often 10-15% faster.


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  38. Reblogged this on Bahrudin Hrnjica Blog and commented:
    History of programming languages in 27 pictures.


  39. itellity says:

    Reblogged this on Itellity Blog and commented:
    The most hilarious overview of programing languages to date


  40. Geoff Arnold says:

    PL/1. Algol 68. (You can stick ’em in with Ada.)


  41. Latimer Alder says:

    Surely APL deserves a mention? And ALGOL.


  42. That was… beautiful…

    In between, Martin Fowler contemplates the darkness, designing millions of domain-specific languages without writing a single one. Rich Hickey fails to bind Lisp to the JVM or CLR, until he is revealed the separation of State and Identity, beginning the cult of Clojure.


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  45. Irakli N. says:

    This was amazing.

    Now go and please add something about Go, please? Pretty please? #kthxbai


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    How can you forget Erlang?! For the love of love, how can you forget Erlang?!


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