Number of languages known [was Re: Python is readable] - somewhat OT

Chris Angelico rosuav at
Fri Mar 23 08:05:14 CET 2012

On Fri, Mar 23, 2012 at 1:48 PM, Steve Howell <showell30 at> wrote:
> On Mar 22, 6:11 pm, Steven D'Aprano <steve
> +comp.lang.pyt... at> wrote:
>> In any case, I'm not talking about the best developers. I'm talking about
>> the typical developer, who by definition is just average. They probably
>> know reasonably well one to three of the half dozen most popular
>> languages (VB, Java, C, C+, Javascript, PHP, Perl?) plus regexes and SQL,
>> and are unlikely to know any of Prolog, Lisp, Haskell, Hypertalk,
>> Mercury, Cobra, Smalltalk, Ada, APL, Emerald, Inform, Forth, ...
> I love how you can rattle off 20 or so languages, just off the top of
> your head, and not even mention Ruby. ;)

If I were to rattle off a couple dozen languages, it probably wouldn't
include Ruby either. Never learned it, don't (as yet) know what its
advantage domain is. My list "runs somewhat thus": BASIC, 80x86
Assembly, C, C++, Java, REXX, Pascal, Pike, Perl, PHP, Javascript,
DeScribe Macro Language, Scheme, Python, ActionScript, DOS Batch, Lua,
COBOL, FORTRAN, Ada, Modula-2, LPC, Erlang, Haskell... and that's not
counting things like POV-Ray or LilyPond that aren't exactly
_programming_ languages, although in some cases you could shoehorn an
application into them. Granted, I do have some rather strange and
esoteric interests, and I'm sure that Ruby is far better known than
DeScribe Macro Language (!!), but I think first of those I've used,
and then of the most famous.

Sorry Ruby. No slight meant! :)


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