Strange Loop

Next: September 12-14 2019


Stifel Theatre


St. Louis, MO

A History of Programming Languages for 2 Voices

Taking inspiration from Guy Steele's classic talk "Growing a Language", and Buckminster Fuller and John McHale's superscale diagrams, we present a whirlwind tour of the history programming languages set to music. We propose a series of historical correspondences between significant (and not so significant) expressions of recorded music and programming language theory. Our milieu is a detailed timeline of programming language developments, including the creation and development of every significant programming language paradigm. On top of that we overlay an idiosyncratic selection of albums and performances meant to highlight the achievements of each language. By contrasting the histories of programming languages and music, we hope to deepen our appreciation of two of the most fertile human activities of the last 200 years.

David Nolen


David Nolen is a software engineer at Cognitect. He works on ClojureScript and Datomic. He likes music.

Michael Bernstein

Code Climate

Michael R. Bernstein is staring at a pile of papers and has highlighter all over his face. Don't be scared though, he would love to chat.