The Stupidest Invention In The History of Programming Languages

In programming, the award of the stupidest inventions goes to use of characters == and =. (setting value and comparing whether values are equal).

Just think about it. There are countless errors being made because somebody wrote IF (a=b) instead of IF (a==b). That error is really difficult to trace and it gives no compiling errors. (Okay, some programs don’t use ==, but there are many languages that do)

My rough estimation is that because somebody started using == several decades ago, it has already cost billions of dollars today (I base these estimates on average hourly salaries that’s wasted on debugging – and on the results of the dice throw I just had).

Why couldn’t they use something else… like < - symbol or something to “set value”.

Wouldn’t it make a lot of sense?

a < - b

That looks like “b value is put to a”.

I wonder why nobody asked me when programming languages were invented.

Update: After some thinking, symbol ¤ could be used as well. Check out the discussion at the forums and give your suggestion.

Juuso Hietalahti