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'1' + '2'

Deceptively simple? Check out how different programming languages fare.

Sam Ruby: “What is '1' + '2' ?”

This desceptively simple question has different answers in C, Java, Perl, Python, and Smalltalk. Care to take a guess? Once you are done, click on the URL above to see other’s comments, and perhaps share your own.

Excellent. In my opinion, Python gets it right. Which is probably why I love to program in that language. Like Mark Pilgrim has explained, “it fits the brain”. Considering that I had programmed quite a bit using C, Perl and PHP before grudgingly trying out Python - white space, ha! - I have not fully let my thinking to be influenced by language. However, Python has brought me back the joys of college days when you write pseudo-code before you actually code. If a language can let me write working code as fast as I can type and still looks like pseudo-code, that is my preferred language.