C – the suit and tie of programming

I was watching some music videos recently and was amazed by how badly dressed most performers were by today’s standards. As far as I can recall the only musician from the 80’s who still looks good in their videos is Robert Palmer, a suit and tie doesn’t go out of fashion.

I started thinking about what the computer equivalent to the suit and tie is. It’s something that never goes out of fashion and that is generally used for work. I came to the conclusion that C is the best fit. Think of languages such as VB and the .Net environment as being skivvies and high-waisted jeans.

C is not a perfect language, it is often difficult to manage text in C and LDAP programming is particularly painful (compared to Perl where it’s trivial). But then it’s quite inconvenient to wear a suit sometimes, you can sit on grass while wearing jeans but not in a suit.

Pictures of you wearing a suit will not look daggy by the standards of next decade, and C code that you write now will be better regarded than VB or whatever other fad language might be used.

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