Sunday, October 10, 2010

Programming Languages are Like Women

Programming Languages are Like Women


There are so many programming languages available that it can be
very difficult to get to know them all well enough to pick the
right one for you. On the other hand most men know what kind of
woman appeals to them. So here is a handy guide for many of the
popular programming languages that describes what kind of women
they would be if programming languages were women.

Assembler - A female track star who holds all the world speed
records. She is hard and bumpy, and so is not that pleasant to
embrace. She can cook up any meal, but needs a complete and
detailed recipe. She is not beautiful or educated, and speaks in
monosyllables like "MOV, JUMP, INC". She has a fierce and
violent temper that make her the choice of last resort.

FORTRAN - Your grey-haired grandmother. People make fun of her
just because she is old, but if you take the time to listen, you
can learn from her experiences and her mistakes. During her
lifetime she has acquired many useful skills in sewing and
cooking (subroutine libraries) That no younger women can match,
so be thankful she is still around. She has a notoriously bad
temper and when angered will start yelling and throwing dishes.
It was mostly her bad temper that made grandad search for another

COBOL - A plump secretary. She talks far too much, and most of
what she says can be ignored. She works hard and long hours, but
can't handle really complicated jobs. She has a short and
unpredictable temper, so no one really likes working with her.
She can cook meals for a huge family, but only knows bland

BASIC - The horny divorcee that lives next door. Her specialty
is seducing young boys and it seems she is always readily
available for them. She teaches them many amazing things, or at
least they seem amazing because it is their first experience.
She is not that young herself, but because she was their first
lover the boys always remember her fondly. Her cooking and
sewing skills are mediocre, but largely irrelevant, it's the
frolicking that the boys like. The opinion that adults have of
Mrs. BASIC is varied. Shockingly, some fathers actually
introduce their own sons to this immoral woman! But generally
the more righteous adults try to correct the badly influenced
young men by introducing them to well behaved women like Miss

PL/I - A bordello madam. She wears silk dresses, diamonds, furs
and red high heels. At one time she seemed very attractive, but
now she just seems overweight and tacky. Tastes change.

C - A lady executive. An avid jogger, very healthy, and not too
talkative. Is an good cook if you like spicy food. Unless you
double check everything you say (through LINT) you can unleash
her fierce temper. Her daughter C++ is still quite young and
prone to tantrums, but it seems that she will grow up into a fine
young woman of milder temper and more sophisticated character.

ALGOL 60 - Your father's wartime sweetheart, petite, well
proportioned, and sweet tempered. She disappeared mysteriously
during the war, but your dad still talks about her shapely form
and their steamy romance. He never actually tasted much of her

Pascal - A grammar school teacher, and Algol 60's younger sister.
Like her sister she is petite and attractive, but very bossy.
She is a good cook but only if the recipe requires no more than
one pot (module).

Modula II - A high-school teacher and Pascal's daughter. Very
much like her mother, but she has learned to cook with more than
one pot.

ALGOL 68 - Algol 60's niece. A high-society woman, well educated
and terse. Few men can fully understand her when she talks, and
her former lovers still discuss her mysterious personality. She
is very choosy about her romances and won't take just any man as
her lover. She hasn't been seen lately, and rumor has it that
she died in a fall from an ivory tower.

LISP - She is an aging beatnik, who lives in a rural commune with
her hippie cousins SMALLTALK and FORTH. Many men (mostly college
students) who have visited the farmhouse,-- enthusiastically
praise the natural food, and perpetual love-ins that take place
there. Others criticize the long cooking times, and the abnormal
sexual postures (prefix and postfix). Although these women seldom
have full-time jobs, when they do work, their employers praise
them for their imagination, but usually not for their efficiency.

APL - A fancy caterer specializing in Greek food. She can cook
delicious meals for rows and rows of tables with dozens of people
at each table. She doesn't talk much, as that would just slow her
work down. Few people can understand her recipes, since they are
in a foreign language, and are all recorded in mirror writing.

LOGO - A grade-school art teacher. She is just the kind of
teacher that you wish you had when you were young. She is shapely
and patient, but not an interesting conversationalist. She can
cook up delicious kiddie snacks, but not full-course meals.

LUCID & PROLOG - These clever teenagers show a new kind of cooking
skill. They can cook-up fine meals without the use of recipes,
working solely from a description of the desired meal (declarative
cooking). Many men are fascinated by this and have already
proposed marriage. Others complain that the girls work very
slowly, and that often the description of the meal must be just as
long as a recipe would be. It is hard to predict what these girls
will be like when they are fully mature.

Ada - A WAC colonel built like an amazon. She is always setting
strict rules, but if you follow them, she keeps her temper. She
is quite talkative, always spouting army regulations, and using
obscure military talk. You gotta love her though, because the
army says so.


by: Daniel J. Salomon Department of Computer Science, University
of Waterloo Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1

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