SPUG: "Hello World" in the world of Google Maps (and the culture of a language)

Michael R. Wolf MichaelRWolf at att.net
Fri Apr 13 14:46:15 PDT 2007

I ran across this map that not only gives some "hello world" code samples,
but also tries to locate the "birth place" of a language.  I thought Perl
was started when Larry was at JPL in California.  Any ideas why it's pinned
to the map outside of Philadelphia?  


Perl always had more of a California feel to me.  Is my "Perl Genesis Story"
in serious need of rewriting with East Coast sensibilities (sic)?

LOL funny...  When I first clicked COBOL (Washington, DC), the code bubble
grew to cover Greenland!!!

Obviously Grace Hopper did a good job of fulfilling one of her original
design criteria of "making it readable (i.e. non-threatening) to managers".
BTW, she was a hoot.  I heard her speak at a grad school seminar a couple of
years before she died.  Despite her military skirt and bearing, she was well
at ease with the long-hair-and-flips of the civilian students, and brought a
keen perspective to the mix of technology, politics, and humanity that
support the roots of language development.  She was the first one to alert
me to how a culture affects a (programming) language (and vice versa), long
before I learned about Perl (the language *and* the culture).  

After one of Larry's technical talks where his wife, Gloria, had made
cultural and technical comments, I asked Gloria which she thought was more
important, the language or the culture.  The answer she gave me fit her
training as a linguist and as the partner/sounding-board of a
technologist/linguist.  It applied equally to all human languages (the ones
we speak and the ones we run on computers) -- "You can't separate a language
from its culture!".  Well spoken, Gloria.

Michael R. Wolf
    All mammals learn by playing!
        MichaelRWolf at att.net

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