Uglliness scale: Python <<< awk << p*** < SNOBOL4

Howard S.Modell howard.s.modell at
Thu Aug 19 00:05:17 CEST 1999

Robin Becker wrote:
> In message <19990816205639474.AAA315.413 at>, John
> Machin <sjmachin at> writes
> >On 14 Aug 99, at 19:12, Robin Becker wrote:
> >
> >> I once described perl as being like awk on
> >> steroids and lsd
> >
> >Actually perl is more like SNOBOL4 on sedatives.
> >
> I still have my snobol4 manual. All sorts of memories with that.
> >There is nothing new under the sun. SNOBOL4, which was up to version 3
> >by 1969, had goodies like arrays (like Python lists, but with multiple
> >dimensions that were fixed when the array was created), tables (like
> >Python dictionaries), user-defined functions, user-defined data-types
> ...
> --
> Robin Becker

it went even further than that.  It allowed for overloading of any and all
pre-defined symbols and had a CODE function that would let you feed in "code"
that could either augment or replace the underlying runtime engine.

Basically, you could start out in SNOBOL4 and end up with something completely

Perl? Python?  If we all programmed in SNOBOL4 the way g-d intended, 
we wouldn't have to worry about debates like that!
Howard S. Modell ª¿ª          

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