Table of Contents for Programming Languages: a survey


Because it is so well-known and well-liked, Haskell gets its own chapter.

See chapter on chapter on Python.


Because it is so well-liked, Go (golang) gets its own chapter.

See chapter on chapter on Go.


Because it is so well-known, Java gets its own chapter.

See chapter on Java.


Because it is so well-liked, Lua gets its own chapter.

See chapter on Lua.


Because it is so well-known, PHP gets its own chapter.

See chapter on chapter on PHP.


Because it is so well-known, Javascript (js) gets its own chapter.

See chapter on chapter on Javascript.


A replacement for Javascript (ie meant to run clientside within websites).

Features: method cascades, mixins, async/await, optional types, a rich core library, factory constructors, libraries, named parameters, lexical this, Futures, implicit interfaces, generics [1]


Compiles to Actionscript, Python, Javascript, Java, PHP, C++, C#, or Flash and Neko bytecode.

See also Haxe's open implementation of the Flash API: (discussion of Haxe in that context: ).


Tutorials and intros



Because it is moderately well-known and moderately well-liked, C# (Csharp) gets its own chapter.

See chapter on chapter on C#.




"Swift as a language is pretty great, however, the tooling and obj-c interop make it a pain in the ass....As well, it's far less 'scripty' than Obj-c. The type system in swift really leaves something to be desired in terms of typing types. The point of Obj-C was kind of to avoid writing the kinds of apps where a great type system would really shine, swift lets you build those kind of apps, but in my opinion most of the time we shouldn't be building them....ObjC? is a language that has everything you really really need, and left out the 1 thing you kinda wanted in exchange for leaving out the thousand 1 little things that everyone else wanted too. Like for example exceptions, sure they're there, but it's not idiomatic and when you program without them you realize what a crappy idea they were in practice. In day to day coding NSError is 1000x better than exceptions." --

"The problem I've found with Swift is the minute size of the standard library. This has forced a large amount of Swift libraries to make calls to Objective-C/Cocoa classes libraries which makes it very non-portable." --




" Ruby was conceived on February 24, 1993. In a 1999 post to the ruby-talk mailing list, Ruby author Yukihiro Matsumoto describes some of his early ideas about the language:[11]

    I was talking with my colleague about the possibility of an object-oriented scripting language. I knew Perl (Perl4, not Perl5), but I didn't like it really, because it had the smell of a toy language (it still has). The object-oriented language seemed very promising. I knew Python then. But I didn't like it, because I didn't think it was a true object-oriented language — OO features appeared to be add-on to the language. As a language maniac and OO fan for 15 years, I really wanted a genuine object-oriented, easy-to-use scripting language. I looked for but couldn't find one. So I decided to make it.

Matsumoto describes the design of Ruby as being like a simple Lisp language at its core, with an object system like that of Smalltalk, blocks inspired by higher-order functions, and practical utility like that of Perl.[12] " --

Tours and tutorials:

Respected exemplar code:





" zem 1 day ago

yielding in a method without an explicit block parameter is actually my favourite design decision in all of ruby. it basically means every method gets a "free" optional block passable to it at call time, which in turn means that the language highly encourages (syntactically) code designs where a method implements some pattern and then yields to the calling code to fill in the details. compare ruby's "File#open" with common lisp's "with-open-file" - it was just the natural thing to do in ruby, versus having to implement something specifically for the open-file case in lisp.


rat87 13 hours ago

I'm a guy who hasn't written that much ruby, I'm mostly writing python these days but I understand a lot of the concepts have written a bit of ruby and wish that some python things could be more like ruby.

Also I'm a guy who took a Smalltalk class taught by a passionate teacher back when I was getting my degree.

Smalltalk is one of the main parents of ruby. It's less practical then ruby in many ways but its more pure/simpler.

To me ruby's blocks/yield is one of the ugliest of parts of ruby. In Smalltalk just about everything is objects and messages. In Smalltalk Blocks are just special syntax for BlockClosure? objects that you evaluate by sending the 'value' method on them and they don't have to be passed at the end, you can pass multiple blocks(if you want ideas of why you might want to do this see some of the c# linq overloads: (or some thread/future like thing with a run action and an exception callback) although I admit many of them can be done with an extra map function.

Ruby Blocks aren't objects, yield is not a method, it's harder to assign/store closure to variables and pass them around.

I may be wrong but I was under the impression that blocks are the way they are because they are a speed hack, the original ruby being a simple interpreter and blocks allowed the common pattern of defining and passing a closure to the method calling the closure without overhead of allocating/initializing/gc a block closure object.

Other objections ruby doesn't seem to be a language that the number of arguments in the function declaration doesn't bear resemblance to the number of arguments you can pass ala javascript I don't see why blocks should be special, I don't want to glance at the body of the function to see if it expects a block or not.

Also if you want to overload on block_given? you can use a named/default argument at the end defaulting to nil.


masklinn 1 day ago

> it was just the natural thing to do in ruby, versus having to implement something specifically for the open-file case in lisp.

Uh what?

1. File#open is a special implementation, the canonical opening of a file is File#new

2. with-open-file is just a wrapper macro around unwind-protect/open/close


zem 1 day ago

i meant that it's a natural thing to do in ruby to implement patterns like open/yield/close or decorate/sort/undecorate as methods that yield to a block. with-open-file was probably a bad example, but from experience it does change the feel of the language when you have to explicitly specify a closure argument versus when you just expect that your method should allow for a block to be attached to the method call. i'm not saying that these things aren't possible in other languages, just that ruby's "free" block makes them a culturally default thing to do.

reply "

Opinionated comparisons

Less popular imperative, MM, OOP languages



"core values of Perl: expressiveness, getting the job done, taking influences from natural language, and pushing the boundaries of language design" -- [15]

Perl 6 design docs:

Tours and tutorials and lists of libraries:


Perl 6 links:

Perl6 design process

Perl opinions

Some say the choice of a '$' prefix for (singular) variables is ugly, although useful [16].





" sub Σ(@array_to_sum) { return [+] @array_to_sum; } say Σ (1,2,3,4); # It will display 10 "



Because of its importance as an exemplar of a style of computer language, Smalltalk gets its own chapter.

See chapter on Smalltalk.





" Io is a small, prototype-based programming language. The ideas in Io are mostly inspired by Smalltalk (all values are objects), Self (prototype-based), NewtonScript? (differential inheritance), Act1 (actors and futures for concurrency), LISP (code is a runtime inspectable/modifiable tree) and Lua (small, embeddable)."

Whitepaper and intro/guide:


Other attributes:

Influenced by: Smalltalk, Self, NewtonScript?, Ac1, Lisp, Lua



.NET language




Opinionated comparisons:


OOP libraries and frameworks in other languages

Common Lisp Object System (CLOS) Meta Object Protocol (MOP)

Lisp Flavors

Influenced CLOS.











"syntax inspired by the language Ruby...compiled language with static type-checking" [26]


todo: i'm not really sure if everything in this file is actually imperative, memory-managed, and oop! check!