[Chicago] History of programming

Lewit, Douglas d-lewit at neiu.edu
Wed May 27 02:08:21 CEST 2015

I agree with Randy!  I love the word "invocation"!  It sounds like I'm an
apprentice sorcerer trying to invoke a certain god or goddess, or angel or
demon to do my bidding!  ***Evil laughter in the background!***

What's interesting is how programming languages rise to popularity for
whatever reason, lose their popularity and almost fade away into
obsolescence, and then eventually return like a Phoenix from the burning
hot ashes!

Last summer I took this seven-week numerical class at Oakton College.  The
class was divided into three groups, depending on which programming
language you used.  We C++ people, Java people, and finally Fortran
people.  Interestingly enough, there was ONLY one student using Java!
 (Poor kid didn't even really know what he was doing! )  The rest of the
class was equally divided between C++ and Fortran, and yet.... in the "real
world" (the world I try to avoid as much as possible ) Java is many times
more popular than C++ and Fortran.  The professor said that Fortran is
making a comeback, and he believed that was partially because of Python.
Although honestly I am not aware of any connection between Fortran and
Python, other than both languages are very popular with engineers and
physics majors.

The thing about this that I personally find very frustrating is that it can
take YEARS to fully master a  programming language.  Then when you're
finally ready for a job in that language, people tell you, "Oh sorry, that
language is now obsolete!  We don't use that anymore.  Why don't you learn
Language X or Y or Z or whatever?"  A good example of that would be the
Pascal, Cobol and Perl programmers.  Can you imagine spending 5 years of
your life learning Pascal, Cobol and Perl..... and then your interviews
tell you, "Oh sorry, those languages are now extinct.  Come back in 5 years
after you learned one of the more modern languages!"

And of course to some degree I blame the professors in our various computer
science departments.  Shame on them for not keeping up with current trends
in their industry!

On Tue, May 26, 2015 at 6:08 PM, Randy Baxley <randy7771026 at gmail.com>

> https://www.google.com/search?client=ubuntu&channel=fs&q=history+of+computer+progamming+nomenclature&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8
> I would think Madam Z might call the spirits all night and never invoke
> them.  Myself I just like to say instatiate.  No correlation.  Sorry Mr.
> Nash.
> On Tue, May 26, 2015 at 5:42 PM, Jason Wirth <wirth.jason at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Does anyone know resources for the history of programming? For example:
>> function call vs function invocation.
>> Why do we use these terms? More importantly, why use "invocation" when
>> the simpler word "call" exists?
>> This is one example. I'm sure there are many other interesting nuggets of
>> history.
>> _______________________________________________
>> Chicago mailing list
>> Chicago at python.org
>> https://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/chicago
> _______________________________________________
> Chicago mailing list
> Chicago at python.org
> https://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/chicago
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mail.python.org/pipermail/chicago/attachments/20150526/9f7fe87f/attachment.html>

More information about the Chicago mailing list