Languages Poster

The History of Programming Languages

OCaml doesn't exist, and Smalltalk seems to have ceased before Java 1 was released - but we can see every point release for Python, PHP, Java, and Ruby (is an animal book a requirement for being on the poster?) and bizarrely Self (Has Self ever been used for real?).

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Correction: OCaml is on the p

Correction: OCaml is on the poster.

Animal book

And it has an animal book.

Animal book

Of course! :-)

The author of the original poster has said that the poster displays language definitions not language implementations or usage.

So he was happy to extend the Smalltalk line to 1998 ANSI Smalltalk.


Of course that unfairly favor languages whose implementation is their definition. Put another way, it excludes a lot of languages which are significant extensions of their definitions.

Haskell -> Clos

Can anyone explain the influence arrow from Haskell to Clos? I tried googling for Clos history and all I could find was mentions of Loops, Flavors, KRL and Smalltalk....

Don't know of any direct influences

Scheme influenced Common Lisp, especially in regards to lexical scoping. I think Scheme was somewhat influenced by Miranda. Haskell, in turn, was really a spinofff from Miranda. Miranda was (and still is) proprietary, and Haskell was an attempt to define a free and open standard of a lazy language.

That's my best guess anyway. :-)

Oh puh-leeze. ;o)

I think Scheme was somewhat influenced by Miranda.
Miranda was invented in 1985, 10 years after Scheme. Scheme already had gone through quite some evolution before Miranda appeared. Scheme was pretty well established by that time, so I can't imagine that Miranda would have had any significant influence - if anything, it would have been the other way around (please enlighten me if necessary).

Scheme was in fact the first "real" programming language to implement lambda properly. On the purer academic side, there was Peter Landin's ISWIM, but that didn't evolve into a real language in the same way. I asked Gerald Sussmann about that at the 2003 Lisp Conference, and he said that he had been unaware of Landin's work, or its significance, at the time. You can read the acknowledgements in the first "Lambda Paper" to see how the inventors of Scheme stumbled on lambda calculus as a central consistent basis for a language, even though Landin had already figured that out and written about it in The next 700 programming languages.

That's what I get for engaging in speculation.

Did elicit a comment that was interesting, so it wasn't a complete loss. :-)

I do think Miranda, Haskell, et al, have influenced the tone and emphasis of scheme on functional programming, but as far as the actual language itself probably not much.

Also, the Landin paper is available online as discussed in a previous Lambda thread for those without ACM access.

probably a misprint

Looking at it again, it's probably a misprint and the arrow was meant to originate from Common Lisp as in the original.... It had me for a second there.