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Why Hello, World!

From Wikipedia, A “Hello, World!” program generally is a computer program that outputs or displays the message “Hello, World!”. Such a program is very simple in most programming languages, and is often used to illustrate the basic syntax of a programming language. It is often the first program written by people learning to code. It can also be used as a sanity test to make sure that a computer language is correctly installed, and that the operator understands how to use it.

Ever wonder why Hello, World! word. See this Stack Overflow question to read more interesting answers.

History of “Hello, world!”

Brian Kernighan, author of one of the most widely read programming books, “C Programming Language”, also created “Hello, World”. He first referenced ‘Hello, World’ in the C Programming Language book’s predecessor: A Tutorial Introduction to the Programming Language B published in 1973.

main( ) {
    extern a, b, c;
    putchar(a); putchar(b); putchar(c); putchar('!*n');
}
 
a 'hell';
b 'o, w';
c 'orld';

Unfortunately, the legend himself can’t definitely pinpoint when or why he chose the words “Hello, World.” When asked what sparked the idea for the name “Hello, World” in interview with Forbes India, he said his memory’s dim.

“What I do remember is that I had seen a cartoon that showed an egg and a chick and the chick was saying, “Hello, World.”

At the time, neither Kernighan nor his colleague Dennis Ritchie, the late author of the C language, could imagine just how monumental the language and the tutorial book would be in the field of programming today. These ideas were nothing but a research project inside Bell Labs, the research and development branch of AT&T. Although no one can scientifically explain why “Hello, World,” grew to become wildly popular, the “Hello, World” program marks a major change in the historical rhetoric of programming. Let’s look at its historical context.

One Statement, Many Languages

Here’s what the code for Hello World! looks like in some of the most popular programming languages currently in use.

Java

class HelloWorld {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        System.out.println("Hello, world!");
    }
}

C#

using System;
class Program {
    public static void Main(string[] args) {
        Console.WriteLine("Hello, world!");
    }
}

PHP

echo "Hello, world!";

Python

print("Hello, world!")

Ruby

puts "Hello, world!"

Scala

object HelloWorld extends App {
    println("Hello, world!")
}

ASP.NET

Response.Write("Hello World!");

Lisp

(princ "Hello, world!")

Haskell

main = putStrLn "Hello, world!"

Go

package main
import "fmt"
func main() {
    fmt.Println("Hello, world!")
}

Time to Hello, world!

“Time to Hello World” (TTHW) is the time it takes to author a “Hello, World!” program in a given programming language. This is one measure of a programming language’s ease-of-use; since the program is meant as an introduction for people unfamiliar with the language, a more complex “Hello, World!” program may indicate that the programming language is less approachable. The concept has been extended beyond programming languages to APIs, as a measure of how simple it is for a new developer to get a basic example working; a faster time indicates an easier API for developers to adopt.

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