If you’re an elderly Computer Scientist (i.e. older than about 35), you’ll enjoy James Iry’s post, A Brief, Incomplete and Mostly Wrong History of Programming Languages. Extract:
1957 – John Backus and IBM create FORTRAN. There’s nothing funny about IBM or FORTRAN. It is a syntax error to write FORTRAN while not wearing a blue tie.
1958 – John McCarthy and Paul Graham invent LISP. Due to high costs caused by a post-war depletion of the strategic parentheses reserve LISP never becomes popular. In spite of its lack of popularity, LISP (now “Lisp” or sometimes “Arc”) remains an influential language in “key algorithmic techniques such as recursion and condescension”.
Splendid stuff! – Many thanks to Dave Clarke for the link.