A Brief History Of Programming Languages
Written by Alex Armstrong   
Sunday, 26 May 2013

This infographic has some interesting facts about programming languages including who created them and what they are used for. It also has recent rankings from the TIOBE index and looks at security vulnerabilities in Java, .NET and C/C++.

Application security testing specialists, Veracode, chose Ada Lovelace at the starting point for its History of Programming Languages. While she may be credited with being the first programmer, the algorithms Lovelace wrote for Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine hardly counted as a "programming language".

That accolade is probably best bestowed on Fortran which, after a lengthy gestation period of almost five years by a team of IBM programmers led by John Backus, was released to customers in April 1957.

The late 1950's also saw the start of development of Lisp, Cobol (COmmon Buisness Oriented Language) and Algol (ALGOrithmic Language). These languages were created by teams of several people but Grace Hopper is credited as being the "Mother of Cobol" and John McCarthy, the person considered the creator of Lisp, also contributed to Algol.

 Click for high resolution version

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The TIOBE index measures language popularity not in terms of number of users but in terms of the number of lines of code written and Java and C take it in turns to be at the top of the list. The infographic asks "How will Java recent security vulnerabilities affect its popularity" and in fact the most recent TIOBE index has C in the top slot with 19% and Java in second place with 17% so it did suffer a small dip as a result of the recent well-publicized security flaws.

The infographic concludes with information on what type of vulnerabilities are most common in programs developed in Java, .NET and C/C++ and which flaws are most typically fixed once discovered.

 

 

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