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Where Some Programming Languages Got Their Names

AWK

It’s named after its creators. Alfred Aho, Peter Weinberger and Brian Kernighan.

C

First there was CPL (Combined Programming Language). It inspired BCPL (Basic Combined Programming Language). BCPL inspired B. B inspired C.

C++, C# and Objective-C

Figure it out. Funnily, C# came close to be called Cool (C-like Object Oriented Language).

FORTRAN

It’s an acronym for FORmula TRANSlation. It was designed to easily translate math formulas into code.

Haskell

It’s named after Haskell Curry, a logician and mathematicican in the 20th century.

Java

It’s named after the Indonesian island of Java. But probably not. It’s probably named after Peet’s coffee, a San Francisco Area based coffee roaster and retailer.

Kotlin

It’s named after Kotlin island near St. Petersburg. The creators wanted the language to be named after an island, just like Java (maybe).

Pascal

It’s named after Blaise Pascal, a french mathematician in the 17th century.

Python

Its name is inspired by Monty Python.

Perl

It’s an acronym for Process and Experiment Automation Realtime Language with the A dropped.

PHP

It’s an acronym for PHP: Hypertext Processor.

Rust

This thread on Reddit claims to have the answer. Rust is named after a fungus that is robust, distributed, and parallel.”

Scala

It’s an acronym for SCAlable LAn. It’s also italian for stairs or ladder.

Smalltalk

The name actually appeared before the first Smalltalk design, which was done in 1971. I had mentioned to someone that the prose” of then current programming languages was lower than a cocktail party conversation, and that great progress would have been made if we could even get to the level of making smalltalk”. It then occured to me that this word was also a great pun for a language aimed at the world of small children.

As for hype: Another motive for smalltalk” was the practice at the time of naming operating, and other, systems (which hardly did anything) after mighty indo-european gods, such as Thor, Zeus, Odin, etc. I figured that if Smalltalk ever did something neat, then people would be pleasantly surprised.”

- Alan Kay

Posted on 2018-01-27   #history     #awk     #c     #c++     #c#     #fortran     #java     #kotlin     #objectivec     #pascal     #python     #perl     #rust     #scala  






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