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History, Evolution and Classification of Programming Languages

Could you recommend a good reference on this topic? Or would you be interested in writing and article on this subject?

Here are some thoughts, based on my experience. This is just a (small) starting point. Could you help me build a much better lists, and provide details on each language? Maybe a tree that shows for each language, its parent(s) (e.g. C++ has C and Pascal Oriented Object as parents)

Classification by function:

  • DataBase: SQL, noSQL, SAS
  • Specialized: R, SAS, LaTex
  • Visualization: ?
  • Data Mining: PMML
  • Web: HTML, JavaScript, XML, PHP
  • Operating System: C Shell, Awk
  • Macro: SAS, C Shell
  • Social Networks: to write Apps
  • General: C++

Classification by type:

  • Interpreted: Basic, Perl
  • Compiled: C++
  • Visual: VB, Visual C++
  • Scripting languages: Perl, Python
  • Object Oriented, C++, Java, Python, R


  1. Assember, HP language for HP calculator (1970)
  2. Fortran, Cobol, SQL (1970)
  3. Lisp, APL, Pascal (1980)
  4. C, C++, R (1990)
  5. Perl, Java, C#, PHP (1990)
  6. Python, Ruby (2000)

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The wikipedia article about programming languages contains links to classifications and other data you might be interested:


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