A Really Great Beard, the Secret of a Successful Programming Language
Why do some programming languages take over the world while others wallow in obscurity?
Two academics at Princeton and the University of California, Berkeley are combing through mountains of data trying to tackle this mystery of the modern world. They think the answer may lie with how well a language is documented. Or with the reality that the average programmer doesn’t have the time or the inclination to learn more than a handful of programming tools. Or even with the age-old tendency of academics to build stuff that’s gloriously clever but completely impractical.
But a man named Tamir Kahson has a different answer. He thinks it’s all about the beard.
Hmm, i was still baffled about the analysis but i think its true, see this below ….
You see, a mustache may limit how high a language can rise. Joe Armstrong, the inventor of Erlang, was a mustache man. So was Larry Wall, the inventor of Perl, and Thomas Kurtz, the inventor of BASIC. All were influential languages, and all are still going strong in one way or another. But they could have used more hair.
Of course, a mustache is better than nothing. Kristen Nygaard, creator of SIMULA? Not a whisker. Ada inventor Jean Ichbiah? Clean-shaven. Simon Peyton Jones, the chief brain behind Haskell? You guessed it.
Yes, Pascal creator Niklaus Wirth wore a beard. And Pascal’s reach was never that of C or C++ or Java. But it was used on the original Macintosh, a computer the world is obsessed with. And Anders Hejlsberg, who morphed the language into Turbo Pascal, didn’t even have a mustache.
Another exception that proves the rule? Grace Hopper, the brains behind Cobol, a seminal language that arrived in 1959 and is still used today. Apparently, if you’re biologically incapable of growing a beard, the programming gods cut you some slack.
Clearly, the men who created today’s rising stars of the programming language world are well aware of Kahson’s beard research. Guido Van Rossum, the inventor of Python, is now trying to look like Ken Thompson, and the Python community has followed suit. And PHP man Rasmus Lerdorf is at least going for the closely cropped goatee/beard look.