Selecting a Programming Language Made Easy
With such a large selection of programming languages it can be difficult to choose one for a particular project. Reading the manuals to evaluate the language is a time consuming process. On the other hand, most people already have a fairly good idea of how various automobiles compare. So in order to assist those trying to choose a language, we have prepared a chart that matches programming languages with comparable automobiles.
Assembler A Formula 1 race car. Very fast, but difficult to drive and expensive to
FORTRAN II A Model T Ford. Once it was king of the road.
FORTRAN 77 A Model A Ford.
COBOL A delivery van. It's bulky and ugly, but it does the work.
BASIC A second-hand Rambler with rebuilt engine and patched upholstery. Your dad
bought it for you to learn to drive. You'll ditch the car as soon as you can
afford a new one.
PL/I A Cadillac convertible with automatic transmission, a two‑tone paint job,
whitewall tires, chrome exhaust pipes, and fuzzy dice hanging in the
C A black Firebird, the all macho car. Comes with optional seat belts (lint)
and optional fuzz-buster (escape to assembler).
ALGOL 60 An Austin Mini. Boy, that's a small car!
ALGOL 68 An Austin Martin. An impressive car, but not just anyone can drive it.
Pascal A Volkswagen Beetle. It's small, but sturdy. Was once popular with
Modula II A Volkswagen Rabbit with a trailer hitch.
LISP An electric car. It's simple, but slow. Seat belts are not available.
PROLOG/LUCID Prototype concept cars.
Maple/MACSYMA All-terrain vehicles.
FORTH A go-cart.
LOGO A kiddie's replica of a Rolls Royce. Comes with a real engine and a working
APL A double-decker bus. It takes rows and columns of passengers to the same
place all at the same time. But it drives only in reverse and is
instrumented in Greek.
Ada An army-green Mercedes-Benz staff car. Power steering, power brakes, and
automatic transmission are all standard. No other colors or options are
available. If it's good enough for the generals, it's good enough for you.
Manufacturing delays due to difficulties reading design specifications are
starting to clear up.