[Chicago] History of programming

Jeremy McMillan jeremy.mcmillan at gmail.com
Wed May 27 06:01:47 CEST 2015


Notice this is in the wordsmith section of StackExchange...

On Tue, May 26, 2015 at 7:08 PM, Lewit, Douglas <d-lewit at neiu.edu> wrote:

> 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>
> wrote:
>> 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.
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