Compilers Determine Language Choice

Intense discussion seem ongoing in the area of deciding which language is the best. Personally, I have used a variety of programming languages since the early 1990s. More than 7 have I used professionally. Another 8 I have used privately or researched. That excludes data transformation and markup languages that I do not consider programming languages. At this writing, only 1 among the programming languages have I used steadily for nearly 15 years in a professional setting. Three others, professional and private, I have used for about 3 years. Throughout that time, I have formed a variety of thoughts about computer programming languages.


When people discuss languages, I believe the discussion is truly about compilers. Directly or indirectly stated, highlighting a language ahead of others is really about the benefits of a language implementation. Programming languages do not work. You can write code all day long. The code will not work.

Code you write does not work. The code file you wrote sits there mindless. A source code file contains a group of statements in a narrow form of human grammar. That source code has to be fed into a compiler to be transformed into actual code the computer runs. After that transformation, you have a program file. The quality of the program is a combination of the directions given in the source code and the quality of the compiler. Continue reading