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View Poll Results: Which of these older languages is the coolest?
Fortran 19 24.36%
Pascal 39 50.00%
COBOL 10 12.82%
Ada 10 12.82%
Voters: 78. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-15-2009, 09:19 AM   #16
johnsfine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoderMan View Post
Please answer the poll to indicate which of these older languages is the coolest.
That would make more sense phrased as "least uncool" rather than "coolest". They are all terrible languages, badly designed for their time and purpose and much worse now as computers have gotten better.

Pascal stands out from the list as clearly least uncool, not because it isn't a terrible language, but because the other three are so much worse.

Pascal's major flaws arise almost entirely from designs aimed at making it easier for the compiler writer at the expense of all users of the language. This may have been necessary because the language designer knew too much about the clean theory of compiler writing and nothing about the messy reality.

The other three share that same class of flaw, but add a bunch of other flaws.

Fortran is old enough that it may be unfair to cast blame for the shoddy language design, because there weren't enough previous languages to learn from. ADA is at the opposite extreme, drawing from the experience of many previous languages, it was designed by idiots who selected the stupidest features from all available sources.
 
Old 06-15-2009, 09:52 AM   #17
niels.horn
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COBOL might have its "flaws", but it is still heavily used in the financial world...
At the company I work we have over a hundred employees earning a living programming in COBOL.
And we're always hiring.
 
Old 06-15-2009, 10:13 AM   #18
graemef
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsfine View Post
Pascal's major flaws arise almost entirely from designs aimed at making it easier for the compiler writer at the expense of all users of the language. This may have been necessary because the language designer knew too much about the clean theory of compiler writing and nothing about the messy reality.
That was actually a design decision made by Nicolas Wirth. Pascal was intended to be used to teach programming and he wanted a single pass compiler so that the students wouldn't have to wait all day for the compiler to find a syntax error. Compiler theory as it stood at the time meant that the program needed to be structured so there were no surprises.
 
Old 06-15-2009, 11:59 AM   #19
patricioleonm
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i think, cool is refered to the versatility of the language (functions, portability, ease of use, etc)
 
Old 06-15-2009, 12:33 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by reptiler View Post
Pascal is the only one of those which I have actually used, so my vote clearly goes to Pascal. We had a good time together, but it's graphics-routines were so damn slow...
The speed of graphics routines depends more on the implementation of the graphics library than on the language itself.
 
Old 06-15-2009, 01:48 PM   #21
salasi
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I'm going to vote for haskell; I don't know it and possibly couldn't understand it (easily), two necessary prerequisites for a language to be cool, IMNVHO.
 
Old 06-15-2009, 02:05 PM   #22
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Contrary to popular believe i believe it has to be ada as its the only one of the four which is a true real time language. Ok for most situations you couldn't care less as long as its quick and easy - granted. But where it does matter and where it has been used are some of the most exciting and coolest areas of programming including space systems and avionics and for that reason alone i would take my hat of for it
 
Old 06-15-2009, 02:20 PM   #23
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ADA is at the opposite extreme, drawing from the experience of many previous languages, it was designed by idiots who selected the stupidest features from all available sources.
Isn't that why it got picked as the government standard?

FORTRAN 66, none of these "improvements" for structure thank you. If I want structure, I'll find a building.
 
Old 06-15-2009, 02:28 PM   #24
johnsfine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mostlyharmless View Post
Isn't that why it got picked as the government standard?
I thought that was in the opposite sequence: It was designed as a government standard, rather than designed first and then selected as a government standard.

But I agree with your apparent point. Anything the private sector does badly, the government can do even worse.
 
Old 06-15-2009, 05:34 PM   #25
dsnuggs
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Thumbs up PASCAL I s'pose

I have used all of these except for FORTRAN and ADA. But have used OCCAM which is meant to be the same principle of ADA. I.e. Parallel programming.

I enjoyed OCCAM - As mentioned, a good real-time language.

COBOL - 10 pages to print 'Hello World'.
FORTRAN - Good for blowing up space ships.
PASCAL - did move on to become MODULA 2.

Any way. They are all good in their field. But I must pick PASCAL too.


PML - Now there's a language to get your teeth into. (Aaaaarrrrgghh!!!)
 
Old 06-15-2009, 06:59 PM   #26
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Well, if we're suggesting languages outside the poll, then I vote for APL, where the amount of comments to understand the code always exceed the amount of code by a factor of ten...
 
Old 06-16-2009, 12:29 AM   #27
jsehgal
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Cool The coolest language

For me it is got to be Pascal. In its time, it was a cool structured language that poke its thumb in the noses of establishments of science (FORTRAN) and military, banking, government (COBOL). It was designed by one man as a teaching tool and his students carried it every where in the world. I never wrote in it myself, but managed a high-tech robotics project using it. The code came out clean, had fewer bugs than projected and they were easier to remove than anticipated. Besides, it is named in honour one of the great scientific minds. I think that is cool with proof!
 
Old 06-16-2009, 05:29 AM   #28
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Thumbs up COBOL - the most stable

I think that the COBOL language is the most stable of all programming languages available.
I program in Fortran and Pascal as well. Used ADA many years ago and did not take to it as there was nothing to convince me to change.
COBOL was able to switch to OO very easily and the continued development has enabled it to interface with other languages. COBOL is able to work with COM, .NET, XML (XML can be translated into HTML), SQL, OLE (Excel, Word)...
COBOL is able to interface with windows using API's.
You will find it in point of sale, sport (stats on TV) ...
I do use some of the newer languages at times but only as a front end, while keeping COBOL at the back-end.
COBOL is able execute a non-cobol program from within a COBOL program.
What I am saying is that COBOL has kept up with progress and kept it's stability which makes it the coolest of the older and newer languages.
COBOL is still the main player in Corporate, Travel, Financial and many other businesses.

I think I will stop there.

James
 
Old 06-16-2009, 07:48 AM   #29
choogendyk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mostlyharmless View Post
Well, if we're suggesting languages outside the poll, ...
Two others that I think are pretty cool ...

Lisp http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisp_programming_language, the primary language of artificial intelligence research. There have been many hardware implementations http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisp_machine, including a Mac II with a TI Lisp chip as a co-processor. That machine had an Apple logo on the left front and a TI logo on the front right and was common in University AI research labs.

PostScript. You may not think of this as a programming language, but I actually wrote code in it fairly often back in the late 1980's when I ran a graphic arts service bureau. Being able to program with it gave me the ability to do things that other people couldn't. Eventually, graphic arts and page layout software became functional enough that you didn't need to do PostScript programming to achieve special affects. Now PostScript is mainly a language that is generated by other software. We have display PostScript, pdf, and PostScript printers on the receiving end. Of course, ultimately there is a programmer behind the program that generates the PostScript, and that person has to specify how the PostScript is generated. If you were familiar with HP's RPN calculators (I've used them exclusively for 30 years), then the pushdown structure of PostScript code makes perfect sense. We still hack PostScript sometimes to fix something or to make a print queue behave in some particular way.
 
Old 06-16-2009, 10:08 AM   #30
niels.horn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choogendyk View Post
PostScript.
I used to do some programming in PostScript as well in the 90s for merging data into documents A very interesting programming language indeed.
I still have the reference manual somewhere.

Talking about older languages, I also did quite some programming in 8-bit assembly, several BASIC dialects, Clipper. Now I only use C and Bash (can we call Bash a programming language?)
 
  


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