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(This is all the fault of a conversation with allonymist and yoctohedron.)

C: You are a paranoid schizophrenic who spends most of your time confused about which type you should be, convinced that blatantly false things are true because your extreme efficiency leaves no room for sensible error checking. Moreover your terseness encourages people to interact with you badly, providing incomplete and ambiguous instructions for which you nevertheless come up with a legal interpretation, even though most of the time it is completely nonsensical. People come to you because you promise them simplicity, not realising that below the surface you're a rat's nest of issues. In the end you are always abandoned for someone like C++ or Python.

Python: Python cares deeply about you and does its best to make your life easier. Python is willing to try new things to make you happy -- "Sure, I can do generators, if that's what you want" -- and really doesn't mind if you're seeing other languages on the side. It insists upon arranging the cupboard into strict rows, but you stop noticing after a while, and eventually you come to prefer your shelves organized this way. Your friends think this is weird until they start dating Python too.

Ruby: Your older sister is the most popular cheerleader in school, but she's kind of a slut. You think that maybe if you add more features, the boys will like you just as much.

PHP: You've seen what works for Ruby and you think it will work for you too, but you haven't figured out that lipstick doesn't go on your cheeks and you shouldn't brush your hair with a mascara wand.

C++: C++ has seen people in love, and thinks it has everything figured out. C++ thinks it loves you, but it errs on the side of being controlling when it thinks it's being concerned and caring.

Ada: You are far more flexible than C++, and know how to be strict and forgiving at the same time. However, your tendency to wear the bondage and discipline gear all the time, as opposed to when your lover asks you to bring it out, frightens people off. You need to learn to stop calling people "worm" and "slave" in front of their mothers.

Java: You try to be loving, but you were raised by a commune of 60 nervous women who have told you that everything you do is loving, even when it isn't. Your unhelpful behaviors have never been corrected and everything you do is subtly wrong and destructive.

JSP: You are Java's younger sister, working in a strip club to pay for your women's studies degree.

Perl: You're incredibly enthusiastic and you have five different ways of doing anything that anyone could possibly want to do. As a result, you tend to overwhelm people and you leave a bad impression on people who could otherwise benefit from knowing you. You promise people answers to all their questions, but you're not ready for a real relationship. You like to guess what people want, but tend to jump to conclusions. When other people would say "what, really?", you've already gotten out a ball-peen hammer and a tub of beeswax. Because of this, people find themselves speaking to you using a range of expressions and vocabulary even more limited than what they'd use for someone who didn't speak the language at all.

Smalltalk: Smalltalk won't meet you outside Smalltalk's apartment. Smalltalk says that if you really loved it, you wouldn't leave.

OCaml: You know yourself to be fast, smart, and extremely reliable. However, you look kind of funny and nobody really wants to talk to you. You spend most of your time sitting in a public library glaring at people, occasionally yelling "NOBODY HERE APPRECIATES MY GENIUS!" and getting kicked out.

Prolog: You are a deaf and blind synthaesthete, who experiences the world entirely through smells, each of which triggers expansive flurries of poetry and music in your mind. Certain problems are trivial for you, but nobody will ever understand the answers you give them, because your numbering system involves colors that cannot be perceived by humans. Prolog can sometimes have a good time with people, but it's hard for a person to stay with someone who only wants them for their ochre vibrato.

Lisp: Lisp cares about you, but really loves itself more than it will ever love you. Lisp thinks that it's the world's greatest lover, and it is a lot of fun, but it's completely blind to its own inadequacies. Watch out: it flies into a rage if it finds you've been seeing C on the side. Lisp swears up and down that it can be anything and anyone you want, and in a lot of ways it's right, but in the end, it's still Lisp.

Logo: Lisp's adorable 7-year-old niece who likes to play with her toy turtle. On casual conversation, she proves to be disturbingly worldly and well-informed. You resolve not to let your kids play around Lisp's house. Thinking about using Logo in any serious way makes you feel a bit dirty.

Visual Basic: You're a fifteen-year-old girl with her very own computer in her room, pinging random strangers on AIM and claiming to be a 23-year-old girl who wants to cyber with them. However, your efforts fail at convincing people, mostly because you aren't very imaginative and most of the things you're promising them are ideas you ripped off from other sources and changed slightly, leaving them less believable.

ASP.NET: As above, except you're a fifteen-year-old boy.

Objective C: You grew up in a cold and loveless home. Everything you know about love, you learned by listening to Smalltalk and Lisp's sex parties in the apartment next door. Now you have met a sweet young thing named Darwin, and you are eager to please.

Dylan: Sombody sat Lisp down and told it it was too clingy. Now it's bipolar.

Twisted: Twisted Python not only loves you, it loves everyone, in 10ms intervals, on demand. But once you learn to take turns, you don't notice the difference.

E: E is very clear about its hard limits, and there are a lot of them. It tells you up front what you're not allowed to do, and sometimes you end up forgetting what you can do without pissing it off.

lex/yacc: lex and yacc are those twins you have a one-night stand with every couple of years. In the intervening period, you forget all about the neat tricks they can do, and every time you meet up you end up learning them all over again. But they're really rather one-sided, and schizophrenic in the same way C is, so in the end it's good that they're not after you for a long-term relationship.

Haskell: Haskell is pretty, but always uses an elaborate range of prophylactic techniques. By the time you're all in place, the person you're with no longer resembles Haskell. If you've had other lovers, Haskell doesn't like many of the things that you may have come to enjoy doing with them. Haskell will pretend never to have heard of these things, and call you a pervert.

SML/NJ: You cannot take anything away from a relationship with SML/NJ that you did not bring with you. If you leave anything at SML/NJ's apartment when you break up, SML/NJ will leave it on your doorstep without ringing the bell.

Assembler: Assembler has no limits -- none whatsoever -- but you have to make it do what you want. It will not make a move to help you; assembler just lies there.

FORTRAN: FORTRAN isn't a real relationship. Telling people you're happy with FORTRAN is like telling people you'll be happy taking care of your cats for the rest of your life and don't really need another person.


( 134 comments — Leave a comment )
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Mar. 3rd, 2006 07:38 pm (UTC)
You've never used Ruby, have you? It's ok. You can admit it.

Hilarious, though.
Mar. 3rd, 2006 07:49 pm (UTC)
GW-BASIC: An "advanced" love robot from decades ago built out of stainless steel bricks and servo motors. Has a modest collection of simple actions that let you pretend you're dating it, which you do... right up until the day you realize it has the bizzare inability to point at anything, which freaks you out.

You overcorrect by dumping it for C which will, years later, leave you bloodied and chained upside-down to the underbelly of a giant experimental turbine engine falling from 30,000 feet, saying, "Hey bub, that's exactly what you told me you wanted."
Mar. 3rd, 2006 09:05 pm (UTC)
She is so lazy, but when she brings out here y-combinator, make sure you have your never ending list ready.
Mar. 3rd, 2006 09:13 pm (UTC)
nice curves (parentheses). I think she can be functional.
Mar. 3rd, 2006 10:08 pm (UTC)
from kid sis 1
my sister, the rock star! your clever insight and way with words has always been something i aspire to and admire. i'm Proud of my creative, brilliant older sister (pet name inserted here, but not for the public, just you). i just wish i understood the programs so the jokes would be even funnier. you need to publish the shit out of this.
in short, go you!!
Mar. 3rd, 2006 10:09 pm (UTC)
Re: from kid sis 1
Mar. 3rd, 2006 11:17 pm (UTC)
FORTH - You are assembler's slutty younger cousin. You have some glimmers of deeper languages, but they are dulled by your trailer. You are more attractive and active than assembler. You like to play with hardware and you can do it in anyway possible. You can even lay there like assembler if they want. You like to talk, but ultimately, conversations with you are terse and limited. Nevertheless, those that have had you think of you often.
Mar. 4th, 2006 01:52 am (UTC)
this is great...btw this article is on the front page of fantacular.com, too!
Mar. 4th, 2006 04:51 am (UTC)
Perl, take deux
Although you are very smart, and truly a hard worker, underneath it all, and at your very core, you are a poet. Providing your lovers with the freedom to express themselves in ever more creative ways, you often attract the young, the nexperienced, and those who "don't have time" for a more formal relatrionship. You nuture these novices by helping them satisfy their immeadiate needs, without a care in the world for the possibility they are creating a Big Ball of Mud, for after all, is mud not also beautiful? Sometimes you find yourself in a relationship that matures, and you and your partner settle into a predicatbility born of mutal respect and self-discipline, but in the end, your reason for being is to express the creative above the predictable, the poetic above the literal, and for this, you will never be sorry.
Mar. 4th, 2006 05:48 am (UTC)
Something to add to Java.

Java: Just when things start to get interesting, Java disappears on you and a few days later you start getting misdelivered packages in the mail and bills for long distance phone calls to places that don't exist.

(frustrated Java coder)
Mar. 4th, 2006 09:53 am (UTC)
Need to make some fixes:

Python: Python cares deeply about you and does its best to make your life easier, and fails miserably at every turn. Python is willing to try new things to make you happy -- "Sure, I can do generators, if that's what you want" -- and really doesn't mind if you're seeing other languages on the side, as long as you don't ask her to change any of her infuriating habbits. It insists upon arranging the cupboard into strict rows, but you stop noticing after a while, and eventually you come to prefer your shelves organized this way, until she start's reorganizing your sock drawer, your desk, organizing your paper clips by color and size, and gets angry at you when you take anything out and forget to align it in the exact way she left it.

Ruby: Your older sister is the most popular cheerleader in school, but she's kind of a simpleton. You think that maybe if you emulate more features from your slutty functional friends, the boys will like you just as much. After all, you're open to change, very open to change. Most of the time, it's just a matter of knowing the right name.
Mar. 8th, 2006 09:58 am (UTC)
Yeah, the whole you-MUST-indent-everything-JUST-SO scared me away from Python just as I was starting to get drawn in by her charms.

I went down the Ruby pathway instead, and haven't regretted it... though I'm finding Ruby does have an unfortunate tendency to let you say stupid things, passing nary a remark, until you're at a party and your boss is present and suddenly Ruby says, "Oh he said the funniest thing to me the other day, let me tell you about it..." and you stand there with your face turning red.
Mar. 4th, 2006 10:48 am (UTC)
despite my weak english skills...
Regular Expressions: Not a person, but a sci-fi sex toy from outer space. Looks frightening and cryptic for beginners, but is becoming more and more essential once you are starting to understand how to do magic tricks with it.
Mar. 4th, 2006 03:01 pm (UTC)
Has gotten about a bit, but it doesn't bother you because she was never capable of getting past first base. You did so many things together - playing games, making simple music, you could even make her pretend to be a dog and chase her own tail (10 PRINT "WOOF"/20 GOTO 10), but there was nothing kinky about that. If you asked for anything more, she wouldn't understand.

You left her long ago - you grew up, people's needs change - but she'll always be your first love, a relic from a more innocent time.
Mar. 4th, 2006 03:25 pm (UTC)
TI-83 basic
She is your first girl friend. You never imagined this whole relationship thing could be so easy and so fun. Math class just cant compare to the wonders of this small package. Flying text and homework made fast bring your first respect. But after that first bought of puppy love you are let down hard when your pears tell you just how un-sexy those gotos are and just when you thought you might head to second base she gets shy leaving you with no choice but to get sly. Cause there is a whole wide world of girls out there with talents that would make your mother scream but oh the joy of programming your first turing machine and the flutter of your first basic instincts..
Mar. 4th, 2006 03:43 pm (UTC)
We still need java script, SQL, verilog, AJAX,
Mar. 4th, 2006 09:48 pm (UTC)
Process Calculi!
Lambda Calculus:

Lambda Calculus is straight to the point, but she takes a LONG time getting there. When you try and talk to her, she starts by establishing the basic principles of atomic interaction before you she can decide whether she wants her eggs scrambled or over easy.

Be careful what you call her, she's very sensitive about names.

Pi Calculus:

Pi Calculus NEVER gets off of her damned cell phone. She's a lot like Lambda Calculus, but she's got disassociative personality disorder. I mean, who sends messages to themself to know if they can send messages to other people?
Mar. 4th, 2006 11:54 pm (UTC)
APL: J's older sister - or maybe mother - is very much like J, but you can't communicate with APL the same way - in fact, while you can learn to read APL's sign language, you're not going to be able to sign back without some special equipment.
Feb. 4th, 2009 04:03 am (UTC)
got anything for k and q? i can't get any further than their being daughters of j, and fraternal twin sisters, of which only q knows any english.
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