Programming language

Programming languages are just like human ones : the more people speak a language, the better. This means more libraries and tools developed, more experience shared, more job offerings, more learning materials published, and so on.
— Maxim Shafirov (May 17, 2017) "Kotlin on Android. Now official" JetBrain Blog


  • 1801 : Joseph Marie Jacquard uses punch card to instruct a loom to weave.
  • 1842 : Ada Lovelace writes the first program.
  • 1936 : Alan Turing, Alonzo Church, lambda calculus
  • 1940s: Various "computers" are "programmed" using direct wiring and and switches.
  • 1957 : John Backus and IBM create FORTRAN.
  • 1958 : John McCarthy and Paul Graham invent LISP.
  • 1959 : Grace Hopper invents COBOL
  • 1964 : John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz create BASIC
  • 1970 : Niklaus Wirth creates Pascal
  • 1972 : Dennis Ritchie invents C and Unix
  • 1980 : Alan Kay Kay creates Smalltalk and invents the term "object oriented"
  • 1983 : Bjarne Stroustrup invents C++
  • 1987 : Larry Wall invents Perl
  • 1990 : Haskell
  • 1991 : Guido van Rossum invents Python
  • 1995 : Rasmus Lerdorf invents PHP
  • 1995 : Ruby
  • 1995 : Brendan Eich invents Javascript
  • 1996 : James Gosling invents Java


The mighty for loop, the enigmatic if statement, and the cheeky little counter increment have been with us since the first automatic languages bubbled to the surface of the primordial programming bog at Manchester, more than half a century ago.
— Verity Stob (January 11, 2006) "Catch as catch can : A light-hearted look at exception handling" The Register
Exception handling is a comparative newcomer to the programmer's toolset. It wasn't until IBM's PL/I came along, in the mid 1970s that exception handling appeared in a language. PL/I's exceptions were based on a proposal by John B. Goodenough. After PL/I, the next mainstream-ish language to support exceptions was Ada. But neither PL/I nor Ada really "took on". It wasn't until C++ compilers began to support exception handling constructs, in the early 1990s, that the idea was really adopted by the mainstream.
— Verity Stob (January 11, 2006) "Catch as catch can : A light-hearted look at exception handling" The Register


  1. James Iry (May 7, 2009) "A Brief, Incomplete, and Mostly Wrong History of Programming Languages" One Div Zero