Programming languages
by clem 16

Here’s a really cool infographics about the history of programming languages:

The History of Programming Languages


Ada was the first language I learnt and the codename for the very first release of Linux Mint. I learnt other languages I didn’t really like (like LISP and COBOL) but they didn’t have cool names so…

Perl was (and probably still is) my favorite language. I had so much fun with it. It’s an awesome language, if you don’t know it already, do check it out :)

Java is the language I used the most throughout my career. It’s huge in service companies. It sold itself well to management and they fell in love with it. Decision-makers think they can quantify and control development with policies, metrics and ways of working without actually understanding IT. Thanks to Java, they can get people to develop software like we produce cars… division of labour, just like in an industry. Developers are turned into resources, constraints are defined from the top and bugs are a disease eradicated by best practices and test-driven waste of time. People don’t think anymore, they just work…

… Of course it doesn’t work… development is creation, not production. It is an art not a task. This creates huge opportunities though. Not everyone can produce cars, but it takes the love and passion of one single artist to compete with any large IT company. How many “resources” is one “geek” worth? Ten? A hundred? A thousand?

And yet, Java is excellent. In fact it’s a brilliant language and there’s so many cool techs revolving around it… I just can’t take “Office Space” out of my mind when thinking “Java developer”, “IT engineer”. Java made it so easy for everyone to be the same, it’s like we all worked in the same company. Did Java ruin “hacking” (for lack of a better word since many “devs” don’t actually like computing nowadays), maybe… or maybe the industry needed one tech to go mainstream and it just happened to be Java? I don’t know… still.. Java is a really cool language.

Within the Mint project, we use the following languages:

  • PHP is used in all the Mint websites
  • Python is used in all the Mint tools (mintinstall, mintmenu, mintupdate, mintbackup, mintnanny, mintdesktop, mintsources, mintdrivers, mintupload, mintwelcome, mintstick etc..) and most configuration tools (the majority of modules in cinnamon-settings)
  • C is used in Muffin, Nemo, Cinnamon, MDM, cinnamon-screensaver, and some of the modules in cinnamon-settings.
  • Javascript is used in Cinnamon.


What about you? What languages do you use? What languages did you enjoy learning/using?

16 thoughts on “Programming languages

  1. Matthew Morgan May 31,2013 15:34

    I’ve actually JUST started using python recently, and I was really stoked when I realized Mint was using it so extensively. I really like the syntax (though I still have trouble remember the colon at the end of a control structure) and how well supported it is on various platforms.

    When I need something native I usually resort to C++, though I admit it feels like a chore after using languages like Python. Perhaps if I got back into the swing of using it regularly I wouldn’t feel that way, but languages like Python and Ruby just feel so much more intuitive to me.

    Disclaimer: I’m not a real developer per-se. Just a tinkerer.

  2. RĂ¼ssel May 31,2013 15:42

    Thank you for the insight Clem. I like that.

  3. samriggs May 31,2013 17:40

    Really cool blog, thanks for letting us know what you mainly use for mint.
    I started in C on an old commadore (years ago obviously). moved onto C++, Visual Basics, then flash came out and like a kid in a candy store I played with animations, creating forums etc etc in actionscript and php/mysql, (and of course the other web based languages), then took a long break and went back to painting, so long a break I pretty much forgot all I already did learn, so I picked up again, learning java, and now planning to go back to C++ and to also learn python just because it can be used almost anywhere and looks pretty cool, and opengl just for the 3d stuff which can be fun. I like C++ over C mainly for the OOP part. So I’m going to try qt-sdk

  4. Ilan May 31,2013 18:28

    I was once a C developer, then Java and then I got lost in Microsoft land. Been doing all their languages for the last decade. Now I’m trying to move back to Linux and I’m enjoying it a lot. Started my first project on Mint in Mono a couple of weeks ago. Now I’m moving on to Vala and trying to learn the Gnome libs. I think I’ll try to convert the project to Python too. Thanks for the inspiration, the whole Mint experience has been great.

  5. Sonic4Spuds Jun 1,2013 05:26

    Thanks for posting this up, quite a well thought out infographic.

    I am, for my Comp Sci degree going to be taking classes in C, C++, Java, and Assembly, and have extensively used both python and Java, while tinkering in C.

  6. Santiago Burgos Jun 2,2013 01:32

    In my case i’m used to C/C++, Visual Basic (the best programming language if you’re planning on using .NET; which is up to you), a little bit of PHP, Java and maybe for my own i’ve been learning MySQL, Oracle, CSS, HTML5. In the low level part i’m kind of Assembler and C (but not much on that part)

    I dislike (and really dislike) C# since it’s kind of weird, specially since i had a bad experience on it. I WANT to learn a little bit of Python, Javascript and maybe go on on C/C++ once again now that i know that you guys use it for DE’s, also i want to do my part to contribute to you guys but i don’t know how to start; maybe if you can guide me on it i can learn and do my best to help to something that i really like, although i have sometimes a hard time understanding all programming languages (but i don’t dislike it)

    Thanks for the post, is really useful =)

  7. DrDhoom Jun 3,2013 15:23

    I’m used Ruby, and now trying to learn java.

  8. ini Jun 4,2013 07:28

    Thanks, nice infographics!

    So.. Python is not a snake. But Python logo looks like a coiled snake for me.

  9. jkw Jun 8,2013 08:44

    First touched programming in Pascal, yuck!

    I’ve been mostly programming PHP though, but got bored of the language and started to lean towards Python. Bought the book Programming in Python 3, Second Edition a couple of months ago.

    Can’t say I have had as much spare time as I’d wanted to spend on Python. But that will probably change at the end of June.

    First problem was the lack of ideas for project to make in Python, but now I’ve come up with 2-3 projects I’d like to make! :-)

  10. Filipe Marques Jun 12,2013 16:40

    In school i learn C, Java, Pascal and Visual Basic, but I did not like Visual Basic.
    Currently i’m using linux mint debian edition and i like it.
    I learned through my own initiative PHP and Python.
    I use PHP and Python in my free & open source projects.
    I use PHP for developing complex websites, but with simple and easy to use interface for users and Python for applications in console and G.U.I.’s.
    I have a python project in github: specs contribute to it!

    Great post! Thanks clem!

  11. David Breedon Jul 6,2013 09:34

    I learnt basic on a PDP11 Mainframe followed by COBOL and FORTRAN with a little Assembly thrown in – yes I am really old! My career diverged into other fields so I am just starting to play with Python and it is fun again! Thanks Clem for the insight into your world

  12. Ilia Feb 16,2014 17:42

    My first languauge where FORTRAN and Assembly(Yuck!). Yes, it was more than 30 years ago when mainframes occupied huge halls but had the power of today’ microcontrollers ;). Than A LOT of C with some C++ here and there and some bash to automate the routine tasks.
    I’m working in the Embedded and device drivers area, so no fancy stuff, just hardcore, close to the metal code. Learned Java but it’s still of no use in my work – despite being the great language. Looked closely at the D – it looks as the “C with the lessons learned”. Someone here has some experience with the D? (or Rust?)

    Thanks, Clem for the great job you and team done in the Linux Mint. This how I like the PC – a tool which just works, without requesting too much attention to itself.

  13. Anthony Feb 24,2014 14:54

    Back in the 80’s (as a small child) i was doing a bit of basic on the spectrum (how else could you get new games other than type them yourself….or have alot of money for tapes :)). Then in college (’98) I learned some assembly and pascal as part of an Electronics degree. I then tought myself C, C++ and Java, using C mostly.

    Then a bit later in life i went back to college to do a BSc in computing and did more Java and Visual Basic. I then tought myself python and ruby…Day to day I would use Ruby as my language of preference but would never think that its the “goto” language for everything.

    Keep up the good work Clem. Im not currently using Mint (as I had issues with UEFI and LMDE 201303), Im currently running Cinnamon 2.0 on Debian Jessie and loving it :D

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