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If Programming Languages Were Religions

In the business of IT journalism, the car analogy has become so overused and impossibly tired that many shops I've worked in have banned the use of the comparison outright. Still, the old joke positing if Windows were a car is a classic.

So I got a chuckle when I read this bit on a blog site focused on a subtitle editing package called Aegisub. The entry offers a tongue-in-cheek comparison of programming languages to various world religions, as well as some fantastic suggestions for additional languages and religions. You can also find some great comments at Slashdot here.

Definitely worth a read. The author makes a great point comparing C and Judaism, both of which inspired major movements (Christianity, C++) that followed. But I laughed hardest at the description of Perl:

"Perl would be Voodoo -- an incomprehensible series of arcane incantations that involve the blood of goats and permanently corrupt your soul. Often used when your boss requires you to do an urgent task at 21:00 on Friday night."

Also worth noting is one poster comparing machine language to Animism ("ultimately, everything is made out of bits and on some level can be thought of as an executable") and assembly language to Shamanism ("we can use symbols to more easily communicate with the binary world").

Does your favorite (or most hated) programming language share characteristics with a world religion? E-mail me your takes at [email protected].

Posted by Michael Desmond on 12/18/2008 at 1:15 PM


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