Saturday, October 18, 2003

Why Pascal is Not My Favorite Programming Language

I found it on the first try. Why on earth does the mighty Ken Arnold insist on referring to the PS version?

The Pascal which this paper criticizes is of course long gone. Later versions of the language had few of these defects, and were used frequently for serious projects.

Now, of course, Pascal's role in education has been largely usurped, first by Ada and then Java (or so I hear); it's popularity in writing shrinkwrap applications for DOS/Windows has long since been lost to C++ (a fate shared with its old nemesis C); any role it might ever have had in internal business app development was lost to VB when companies switched from DOS to Windows; and as far as I know it never had much to do with the Web or "e-commerce" programming at all; and of course it lost out to C in the Unix hacker community and the open-source world, at least partly because of the influence of this paper.