Which Languages to Learn? Perl, Python, Ruby, JavaScript, PHP, Emacs Lisp

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .
Perl Larry Wall signature
Perl creator Larry Wall's signature. [see Perl Books Survey 2002]

xah's rumination extempore! episode №201311271922. Computer Languages Comparison.

in past few days, i started to read python doc for real. (started learning python since 2005) Stern advice to newbies: if you want to pick a new scripting lang, perl, python, ruby, javascript, i advise not python.

How easy is it to learn?

PHP ≻ Ruby ≻ Emacs Lisp ≻ JavaScript ≻ Python ≻ Perl

See

How much functional programing you can do in a team without raising eyebrow?

Emacs Lisp ≻ JavaScript ≻ Ruby ≻ PHP ≻ Perl ≻ Python

How object oriented programing it is?

Ruby ≻ Python ≻ PHP ≻ JavaScript ≻ Perl ≻ Emacs Lisp

How well is the language designed?

Ruby ≻ Emacs Lisp ≻ Python ≻ Perl ≻ PHP ≻ JavaScript

• Ruby and emacs lisp are most consistent.

• Python is pretty badly designed, lots inconsistencies. Its syntax is a syntax soup, and its semantics a semantics soup. It's coherent with respect to the mind of certain benevolent dictator.

• Perl, is designed to be the best unreadable and confusing from the ground up. There's certain madness in its methods.

• PHP, although very simple, but is a hack by a teen to create a Pretty Home Page. Originally it was just some Perl script. Huge amount of inconsistencies if you look at the detail.

• JavaScript is a hack by a lisper who really wanted to do Scheme Lisp, but reality required him do Java syntax, and he's got one week to finish design and implementation. [see Xah JavaScript Tutorial]

How culty is the community?

Perl ≻ Python ≻ Ruby ≻ Emacs Lisp ≻ JavaScript ≻ PHP

Which has the best doc?

PHP ≻ Ruby ≻ Emacs Lisp ≻ Perl ≻ Python ≻ JavaScript

[see programing documentation idiocy collection]

Which lang you like most?

Ruby ≻ JavaScript ≻ Emacs Lisp ≻ PHP ≻ Python ≻ Perl

perl is end of life. Ugly, wasted, out of lies and out of juice. It's not worthwhile to study. Nobody's give a fly about it today. The perl fanatics, once covered the entire planet with their “more than one way dwim”, but now you can't even find one active perl forum. It's busy brooding death. [see Perl by Example]

python is very OOP. If you don't like OOP, or don't like particular OOP shoved down your throat, don't do python. Also, if you like functional programing, python kicks you in every way. OOP is in python's bones, with duck tape. You have to deal with “objects”, and imperative objects and jargons the like of {iterable, iterator, generator, generator expression, decorator, closure, view object, list comprehension, PEP}. Its doc is incomprehensible, pretending to be a academic computer science book, with writing quality of a hacker. The python folks think “comp sci Я us”, with stern mugs, mirroring Guido's correctitude. [see Python Tutorial]

Ruby is nice. All start-ups are using ruby. The lang is much more clean than perl or python, much easier to learn, and actually support both OOP and FP more than both perl and python. [see Ruby Tutorial]

JavaScript is nice. For front end web dev, you are stuck with it. But, if you like Functional Programing, you'll love it. The lang has lots warts, but its overall model, is pretty simple. [see Xah JavaScript Tutorial]

PHP, is actually the simplest of them all. The lang, suffers the same problem as javascript, lots minor detail inconsistencies. However, these are trivial issues. The more important thing is the picture of the lang's overall model. So, PHP, is really good, similar to JS. PHP is, in fact the easiest to learn of them all. [see PHP in 1 Hour]

of course, if you are a programer, picking up emacs lisp benefits you for life. [see Xah Emacs Lisp Tutorial]

g+ discussion