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If programming languages were countries, which country would each language represent? – A Brilliant Quora Answer

This question appeared in my Quora digest today:

If programming languages were countries, which country would each language represent?

John Purcell‘s brilliant answer:

Java: USA — optimistic, powerful, likes to gloss over inconveniences.

C++: UK — strong and exacting, but not so good at actually finishing things and tends to get overtaken by Java.

Python: The Netherlands. “Hey no problem, let’sh do it guysh!”

Ruby: France. Powerful, stylish and convinced of its own correctness, but somewhat ignored by everyone else.

Assembly language: India. Massive, deep, vitally important but full of problems.

Cobol: Russia. Once very powerful and written with managers in mind; but has ended up losing out.

SQL and PL/SQL: Germany. A solid, reliable workhorse of a language.

Javascript: Italy. Massively influential and loved by everyone, but breaks down easily.

Scala: Hungary. Technically pure and correct, but suffers from an unworkable obsession with grammar that will limit its future success.

C: Norway. Tough and dynamic, but not very exciting.

PHP: Brazil. Full of beauty and flouts itself a lot, but secretly very conservative.

LISP: Iceland. Incredibly clever and well-organised, but icy and remote.

Perl: China. Able to do apparently almost anything, but rather inscrutable.

Swift: Japan. One minute it’s nowhere, the next it’s everywhere and your mobile phone relies on it.

C#: Switzerland. Beautiful and well thought-out, but expect to pay a lot if you want to get seriously involved.

R: Liechtenstein. Probably really amazing, especially if you’re into big numbers, but no-one knows what it actually does.

Awk: North Korea. Stubbornly resists change, and its users appear to be unnaturally fond of it for reasons we can only speculate on.

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