The Programming Languages Timeline

  • Plankalkul

    Konrad Zuse created Plankalkul as the very first complex programming language to be used on a computer. Plankalkul means roughly "Plan Calculus" when translated into english.
  • Fortran

    Richard Goldberg, Sheldon F. Best, Harlan Herrick, Peter Sheridan, Roy Nutt, Robert Nelson, Irving Ziller, Lois Haibt, and David Sayre created Fortran. Fortran was the first widely used programming language. Fortran is a contraction of Formula Translation.

    MATH-MATIC was created by Charles Katz. MATH-MATIC's purpose was to be able to program for the UNIVAC. The name comes from "mathmatics".
  • Lisp

    Lisp was created by John McCarthy at MIT, and was mainly implemented in research of AI. The name Lisp derives from List Processor.

    COBOL was a US Department of Defense project, headed by Grace Hopper, to create a language that can process data on many different platforms. The name is an acronym, meaning common business-oriented language.

    The developers were John G. Kemeny and Thomas E. Kurtz. It is mainly used for the accessibility and the ability for people to learn it easily. BASIC stands for Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code, and also doubles as a representation of how simple it is to learn.
  • RPG

    RPG was created by IBM to run their data for employees. It was often used to manage such databases.
  • LOGO

    LOGO was created by Daniel G. Bobrow, Wally Feurzeig, Seymour Papert and Cynthia Solomon for the main purpose of educating people on how to use Lisp. It was used a lot for programming small robots called 'turtles" to move and draw designs. The name comes from the Greek word "logos", meaning "thought".
  • B

    B was developed by Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie. It was used for system software of older machines. The name is a contraction of BCPL, which was a language that B was derived from.

    PASCAL was created by Niklaus Wirth as a language to teach people good habits when it comes to data structure and general programming. It was named after the French mathematician and philosopher, Blaise Pascal.
  • C

    C was created by Dennis Ritchie. It is used as a language that everyone can understand, and is often picked due to the age and wide usage of the language. the name is inspired by B, and is named C because it is the next letter in the alphabet.
  • ML

    ML was created by Robin Milner. It is most well known for something called the Hindley–Milner type inference algorithm, which can figure out the type of an expression without being told what it is. ML stands for MetaLanguage.
  • SQL

    Donald D. Chamberlin and Raymond F. Boyce created SQL. The primary purpose for SQL is to manage databases. SQL is an abbreviation of SEQUEL, which is an abbreviation of Structured English QUEry Language.
  • ADA

    ADA was a language created by Jean Ichbiah for Honeywell finances. It was named after Ada Lovelace.
  • C++

    Bjarne Stroustrup created C++, being "C with Classes". It is designed to be usable in various situations, and is widely used to this day due to versatility and many features.
    C++ is named C++, because "++" is the increment operator in the language, essentially saying that C++ is an increment above C.
  • Python

    Python was created by Guido van Rossum. The purpose of the language is to create programs in very few lines of code. It was named after Monty Python, a british comedy group.
  • Visual Basic

    Visual Basic
    Visual Basic was created by Alan Cooper under direction of Microsoft. Similar to BASIC, Visual Basic, similar to BASIC, is used due to the easy access, which is further amplified with the addition to GUI. The name comes from BASIC, another programming language, and Visual, which highlights the GUI.
  • Delphi

    Anders Hejlsberg created Delphi. The main purpose of Delphi was to create desktop and graphical applications, but in recent years, it has expanded to mobile apps as well. The name is reference to the Oracle of Delphi. Oracle was a commonly used database was Oracle, so "If you want to speak to the Oracle, go to Delphi."
  • PHP

    PHP was created by Rasmus Lerdorf for making web applications. PHP stands for Personal Home Page.
  • Java

    James Gosling, Mike Sheridan, and Patrick Naughton created Java. It is used to make applications quickly for use on multiple platforms. Java is named after the type of coffee.
  • JavaScript

    JavaScript was created by Brendan Eich. It is one of the 3 major components of web content production, along with CSS and HTML. It was created in association with the same company that created Java, so it was named JavaScript to give it similar branding to Java, despite the two languages being very different.