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Hey you kids, get off my lawn!

  1960s:  
  Happiness Language:    Lisp
  Hack-it-out Language:  Assembly
  Bread and Butter:      COBOL
  
  1970s:
  Happiness Language:    Lisp
  Hack-it-out Language:  FORTRAN
  Bread and Butter:      BASIC

  1980s:  
  Happiness Language:    Lisp
  Hack-it-out Language:  C
  Bread and Butter:      QBasic

  1990s:
  Happiness Language:    Lisp
  Hack-it-out Language:  C++
  Bread and Butter:      Visual Basic
  
  2000s:
  Happiness Language:    Lisp
  Hack-it-out Language:  C#
  Bread and Butter:      PHP

  2010s:
  Happiness Language:    Lisp
  Hack-it-out Language:  Python
  Bread and Butter:      Ruby
[EDIT: Added "s" to change significance from year to decade.]



Was there really a time period where BASIC and QBasic were bread and butter languages? I thought they were toy languages, like Logo.


Was there really a time period where BASIC and QBasic were bread and butter languages?

Yes. From the time they were introduced until today.

I thought they were toy languages...

Don't kid yourself. I am aware of 3 different full blown enterprise packages written in 100% BASIC. Inventory, accounting, production, order processing, ERP, CRM, etc. still running multi-billion dollar companies all over the world. Now here comes the good part...2 or them were written by 2 people and the third was written by one person.

This thread started out a little in jest, but there is (and always was) a moral to the story: You can write almost anything in almost any language. The proficiency of the practitioner is way more important than the tool being used.


Good to know... but that's not the description of a "bread and butter language", at least, not by the definition in the OP. Or else, Lisp, Haskell and Prolog would all be BBLs! I wasn't around in the 60s to witness software development, but when I think of a BBL today, I think: Java.

If you want to revise your history made in jest, I'd be curious to see the result.


No way, it's the exact definition:

> This is the language that you can use to keep yourself alive when life hands you lemons. This is the language that you know just in case you need to hustle yourself to provide for yourself and your family.

If you're the one dude who wrote an entire package that runs a billion dollar multinational, you can pretty much charge whatever you want. It's like the ultimate job security. Any changes have to be made through you.


If you're the one dude who wrote an entire package that runs a billion dollar multinational, you can pretty much charge whatever you want. It's like the ultimate job security. Any changes have to be made through you.

That's true regardless of the language.


Absolutely. But that's why BASIC is his bread and butter.


Ah, so that's where the confusion comes from. I thought that edw519's post was about "The typical bread-an-butter language in the 70's, in the 80's, etc."

I'd still be curious to know what were the de facto languages to get a good salary in the 60s, 70s and 80s.


Yeah. When I was younger I used to look down on things like VB. Now that I've pulled my head out of my ass, I realize many of those apps were a net win and would have been less of a win in a man's language like C++.


Lots of PC business apps were written in BASIC dialects in the 1980s.

I supported one in the latter half of the decade that handled all the accounting, financial reporting, statistical reporting on food and labor costs, payroll, etc. for a franchise fast food restaurant. It was really quite a comprehensive and easy to use system.


BASIC was one of the standard tools for 3rd party software. It was pretty easy to learn (compared to C or FORTRAN) and was migratable (I wouldn't say portable, but stuff written in certain dialects would generally be fairly straightforward to port to slightly different dialects or reimplementations on other platforms).

Not to mention a whole generation of people (myself included) for whom BASIC was their first programming language. To this day, I remember my first program:

10 PRINT "STEVE IS THE BEST!"

20 GOTO 10

A lot of computer games in the early 80s were written in BASIC with bits of machine code (no pun intended) thrown in for effects, copy protection etc.

Of course, the pinnacle of BASIC programming came in the form of QBasic, specifically GORILLAS.BAS.


>10 PRINT "STEVE IS THE BEST!"

Apple fanboism runs deep in this one

;P


My name is Steve. This was on a Commodore PET (8032 I think), then as a general rule I did this on every system with BASIC that I could as a check to make sure everything works, and as a little in-joke for myself.

I've done equivalents in nearly every language I've written in. I'm sure if anyone sees me doing it they must think I'm a right idiot but it's my personal equivalent of Hello, World.


(I know, twas just a joke... my first exposure to BASIC was on an apple IIe(?) in 7th grade.)


A lot of Apple 2 apps were written in Basic, if I remembered correctly.


C# didn't appear until 2001. Perhaps you should clarify 2000-2009 decade?


Give the guy a break. He's old. Memory is the first thing to go :)


Memory is the first thing to go

My wife claims that it's the second thing to go.


... but she forgets what the first thing is?


Is sex drive first?


The years are only specified to 3 significant digits.


Actually less, I guess. Because the range is so narrow. The offset of around 2000 years doesn't really add any information.


That's why I edited my comment to say something about decades.


Then how come I see teams that boast 20 years of C# experience? Huh?!?!


The first year of the 2000's decade was 2001


I think you're confusing the whole "there was no year 0, so the millenium starts in 2001" business with decades. Decades start on the 0.

If you were to say "the 200th decade CE", that'd be a different story :)


I think the Hack-it-out and Bread and Butter languages are consistently transposed in this list.


uhh wait.. people actually use ruby at work? Perhaps 3% but calling it bread and butter is just plain untrue.

Java/PHP/C# would be more fitting, those make up a huge percent of the jobs.


To answer the unasked question: You're being downvoted because the list isn't the majority, but his personal experience. You should also review the article again, since his comment is on topic with what it discusses, and your's isn't.


As a downvoter, for me it was 'people use $LANGUAGE at work?'

These kinds of wars are not helpful.


And if you're going to ask those questions, you can at least ask it like this: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1896245

"Curious and inviting further discussion" tends to beat "snide and dismissive" here, hands down.




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