Daniel Solomon & David
Department of Computer Science, University of
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1
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
languages 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.
- A Formula I 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 IV
- A Model A Ford.
- FORTRAN 77
- A six-cylinder Ford Fairlane with standard transmission and no seat belts.
- A delivery van. It's bulky and ugly, but it does the work.
- A second-hand Rambler with a rebuilt engine and patched upholstry. Your
dad bought it for you to learn to drive. You'll ditch the car as soon as you
can afford a new one.
- A Cadillac convertible with automatic transmission, a two- tone paint job,
white-wall tires, chrome exhaust pipes, and fuzzy dice hanging in the
- 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.
- A Volkswagon Beetle. It's small but sturdy. Was once popular with
- Modula II
- A Volkswagon Rabbit with a trailer hitch.
- ALGOL 68
- An Astin Martin. An impressive car, but not just anyone can drive it.
- An electric car. It's simple but slow. Seat belts are not available.
- Prototype concept-cars.
- All-terrain vehicles.
- A go-cart.
- A kiddie's replica of a Rolls Royce. Comes with a real engine and a
- A double-decker bus. Its takes rows and columns of passengers to the same
place all at the same time. But, it drives only in reverse gear, and is
instrumented in Greek.
- 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 the design specification are
starting to clear up.