If programming languages were religions: the aftermath

Posted December 20, 2008 by Unknown ‐ 3 min read

Until December 15 2008, aegisub.net would typically get ~350 hits per day. Between December 16 and 19, it got a total of 266 thousand hits, thanks to the “If programming languages were religions…” post. So, first of all: Thanks, everybody! All feedback, positive and negative, was greatly appreciated.

First it was put on Digg. Then on reddit. Then, to my great surprise, on Slashdot… and on slashdot.jp. Stumbleupon. And even on one of my favourite blogs, Pharyngula. It was linked on many IRC channels and blogs around the Internet… Several of my friends wrote to tell me that they had seen it linked in some internal forum or mail list. I never expected this kind of reaction!

So here’s the basic rundown on all the comments that I saw: most Muslims (that manifested their opinion regarding it, at least) thought that it was funny, and didn’t think that it was insulting. Several others thought that it was very offensive. Lots of people thought that I was a Python fanboy (C++ is my actual favourite language, although it’s possible that Haskell will take its place as I learn more about it), or a Microsoft hater (hey, I use Vista and Visual C++). Since I got accused of being a Jew by at least 3 different people, let me get this straight: I’m an atheist.

There were many complaints about “missing” languages, or “stereotyping”. The list was never meant to be exhaustive, nor was it meant to be perfectly accurate - it’s meant to be a JOKE. It’s SATIRE. I KNOW that Satanism isn’t really about selling souls, and that some of the matches aren’t perfect. Also, the reason why languages such as Pascal, Fortran and Smalltalk didn’t make it to the list was because I couldn’t think of anything funny to say about them. The single most common observation was that assembly should be atheism - I actually WROTE that at a point, but I removed from the final post because I felt that it would end up being biased, one way or the other, and because atheism isn’t a religion (or lack of one, for that matter).

If you thought that the original article was funny, I suggest you to read through the comments, both on the article and on the links above - there are some very funny suggestions on those, both for languages that I covered and also for many that I didn’t mention.

P.S.: Some people seemed to take issue at me calling C restrictive. I obviously didn’t mean that it’s restrictive in a “what can you implement with it” sense, but rather in a “to what level can you abstract with it” sense.