|The Humor Library|
Guide to Programming Languages
The proliferation of modern programming languages which seem to have stolen countless features from each other sometimes makes it difficult to remember which language you are using. This guide is offered as a public service to help programmers in such dilemmas.
Language Description C You shoot yourself in the foot. C++ You accidentally create a dozen instances of yourself and shoot them all in the foot. Providing emergency medical care is impossible since you cannot tell which are the bitwise copies and which are just pointing at others and saying, "That's me, over there." Ada If you are dumb enough to actually use this language, the United States Department of Defense will kidnap you, stand you up in front of a firing squad, and tell the soldiers, "Shoot at his feet." Algol You shoot yourself in the foot with a musket. The musket is esthetically fascinating, and the wound baffles the adolescent medic in the emergency room. APL You hear a gunshot, and there's a hole in your foot, but you don't remember enough linear algebra to understand what happened. Assembly You crash the OS and overwrite the root disk. The system administrator arrives and shoots you in the foot. After a momment of contemplation, the administrator shoots himself in the foot and then hops around the room rabidly shooting at everyone in sight. BASIC Shoot self in foot with water pistol. On big systems, continue until entire lower body is water-logged. COBOL USEing a COLT45 HANDGUN, AIM gun at LEG.FOOT, THEN place ARM.HAND.FINGER on HANDGUN.TRIGGER, and SQUEEZE. THEN return HANDGUN to HOLSTER. Check whether shoe lace needs to be re-tied. DBase You squeeze the trigger, but the bullet moves so slowly that by the time your foot feels the pain you've forgotten why you shot yourself anyway. DBase IV You pull the trigger, but it turns out that the gun was a poorly-designed grenade and the whole building blows up. Forth Yourself foot shoot. FORTRAN You shoot yourself in each toe, iteratively, until you run out of toes, then you read in the next foot and repeat. If you run out of bullets, you continue anyway because you have no exception-processing ability. Modula/2 After realizing that you cannot actually accomplish anything in the language, you shoot yourself in the head. sh, csh, etc. You can't remember the syntax for anything, so you spend five hours reading man pages before giving up. You then shoot the computer and switch to C. Smalltalk You spend so much time playing with the graphics and windowing system that your boss shoots you in the foot, takes away your workstation, and makes you develop in COBOL on a character terminal. PL/I You consume all available system resources, including all the offline bullets. The Data Processing & Payroll department doubles its size, triples its budget, acquires four new mainframes, and drops the original one on your foot. Prolog You attempt to shoot yourself in the foot, but the bullet, failing to find its mark, backtracks to the gun which then explodes in your face. SNOBOL You grab your foot with your hand, then re-write your hand to be a bullet. The act of shooting the original foot then changes your hand/bullet into yet another foot (a left foot). Lisp You shoot yourself in the appendage which holds the gun with which you shoot yourself in the appendage which holds the gun with which you shoot yourself in the appendage which holds the gun with which you shoot yourself in the appendage which holds... scheme You shoot yourself in the appendage which holds the gun with which you shoot yourself in the appendage which holds the gun with which you shoot yourself in the appendage which holds the gun with which you shoot yourself in the appendage which holds...but none of the other appendages are aware of this happening. English You put your foot in your mouth, then bite it off. CLIPPER You grab a bullet, get ready to insert it in the gun so that you can shoot yourself in the foot, and discover that the gun that the bullet fits has not yet been built, but should be arriving in the mail Real Soon Now. SQL You cut your foot off and send it out to a service bureau. When it returns, it has a hole in it, but it no longer fits the attachment at the end of your leg.
This is a dead web site. I have moved my web presence to several different sites:
Please visit me there instead. Thanks!
-- Michael, October 2000