We all know the hilarious page titled "If Operating Systems ran the airlines". If you don't know it, you can find it here.

I thought it was time for another version, with Programming Languages instead of Operating Systems. Enjoy!

If Programming Languages ran the Airlines

PL/1 Mainframe Air:
You arrive at the airport. It's not really an airport, but actually an old wooden building next to the river. You ask why there isn't a real airport. A very old man answers you that they have been building with wood ever since the beginning of construction, so it must be good. You ask where you can check in and when your plane leaves, but you are answered that they really don't have any planes, because they think planes are too modern. Instead, you must place your luggage and yourself into a rowing boat in the river. This is because people have been using rowing boats for centuries, so rowing boats have proven that they work very good. You argue that a rowing boat can't possibly take you to your destination 2000 miles away, but the old man insists that you try. After all, the rowing boat has never let HIM down. The fact that he only ever went as far as 2 miles up the river can't convince him. In the end, with no choice left, you decide to give it a try. At first, all goes quite well. The old man can steer the rowing boat very fast down the river, but when you finally arrive at sea, the old man has a heart-attack and dies. You are now in the middle of the ocean, with nothing but a pair of paddles. Good luck.

C++ Air:
When you enter the airport, there are 5 entrances. You walk towards one, but then someone warns you that, if you choose one, you can never switch back and everything, including the destination of your journey, will depend on it. After thourough consideration, you find the entrance that is best for you. You go to a checkin terminal to check in, and you receive a ticket with everything from you name and address to the name of your dog (which you left home) and the contents of your wardrobe. You ask why there is so much information that isn't necessary for the flight and you are answered that this is good, because then, you are in complete control of what you are doing. When you sit down at a table at a restaurant, the waiter won't bring you anything, because you have the wrong flight-ticket. If you ask what this has to do with getting food, you are told that you should have thought of this before you chose a ticket. A bit confused, you enter the airplane. You are given a meal with a couple of slices of bread and a samurai-sword to cut them. Around you, you see everyone try to slice the bread, while accidentally cutting of their own limbs and fingers. You ask the man next to you why they don't just give you a normal knife to slice your bread and you tell him that swords are very dangerous, but the man says that only a samurai sword is sharp enough to slice bread and that you are stupid and a noob if you can't do it. At least, the airplane is very very fast and you get to your destination in a very short time, but when you approach the destination airport, the pilot receives a message that the landing airstrip has changed. Because the airplane is unable to change the destination landing strip after take-off, the pilot returns to the airport where it left from and will have to start the flight all over again.

PHP Air:
When you arrive at the airport, you see a lot of people dragging parts of airplanes around. When you ask why this is, a man says that you need airplanes in order to fly, so that's why they are building them. You ask if there aren't any pre-made planes that have passed security tests, but the man has already dissappeared with a big wing under his arm. Once you board your airplane (the left wing is still not finished, but the stewardess promises that it will be before take-off), you meet a little kid. You ask him if this is his first flight, but it appears that he is actually the pilot of the plane. The kid tells you all about the fact that he has played with toy-airplanes when he was a baby and that he has a real pilot's uniform, so he is more than qualified to fly the plane. When the plane takes off, there is a lot of turbulence, but after a while, it gets better and the plane is on it's way. When you fly above the ocean, the plane is suddenly hit by a thunderstorm. The little kid gets a little frightened, but he tries his best to save the situation. When more and more people start to panic, the little kid begins to cry and gives up. You try to steer the plane yourself, but there is no usermanual anywhere to be found. When the plane heads towards crashing in the ocean, you look outside the window and you see a man screaming in a rowing boat. At least, you will not go down alone...

.NET Airlines:
You arrive at a very modern terminal. There is only one counter where you can check in, but you don't have to wait and you are helped by a very friendly woman. After checking in, you decide to get something to eat. There is only one restaurant, and it's pretty expensive, but the food is very good, so you don't mind. You are guided to your plane by another very friendly stewardess. There is only one corridor through which you can walk, so you don't really need the help, but on the other hand, it's quite comfortable. Your plane is the only plane at the airport, but it's a very nice one, with very nice chairs and a wonderful in-flight dinner. After about 20 minutes in the air, you land at exactly the same airport as where you left from, because it's the only airport where .NET airplanes can land.

Java Air:
You arrive at the airport with all your luggage. It's kinda heavy, so you sigh: "I wish I had someone to carry it for me..." Immediatly, out of all corners of the terminal, people start running towards you, offering you their services. Some ask a little money, but most of them do it for free, because they like hauling with luggage. At first, you are totally overwhelmed by this many people offering you stuff, but after a while, you get to know some of them and they are quite nice. When arriving at your airplane, there is not one, but five, all totally different, but they are all airplanes and they all bring you where you want to go. Some of them are even free. You see some people, especially people with suits and ties, who don't trust all the free airplanes and are anxious to choose from so many options. They all walk into a big blue building. You hear that you can let the people inside the blue building do everything for you and make the choices for you, if you pay them enough, but since you're a little short on cash and also because you never actually see anyone come OUT of the blue building again, you decide to fly with one of the free airplanes. After a pleasant flight, you arrive at your destination. You try to convince your friends to travel with Java Air too, but all they can say is: "Was it FREE??? Then it cannot be good..."

Ruby Air (courtesy of Ryan Daum):
You arrive at the airport, which is actually a nightclub. There is a band playing at the check-in desk. They are playing music which sounds like New Wave from the early 80s, but the band is made up of people born after 1975. You swear that the woman at the ticket counter looks like Adele Goldberg, but she just looks at you funnily, and won't let you past until you exchange your Dell laptop for a MacBook Pro. You are told the only place the plane will land is Portland. The interior of the plane is retro-chic, and the pilot has piercings and spikey hair. After take-off, the landing gear of the plane won't retract, and is missing oxygen masks, but the pilot says that's O.K., because when he build the plane he used unit tests. Halfway through the flight, the plane runs out of fuel, and you are all forced to transfer onto a new plane after a brief landing on a pacific island. You see Jack Sheppard on the island.

JavaFX Air (courtesy of Sven Hafner):
This one is an offspring of a very traditional airline which is around for some ten years, with a good safety record, but aircrafts available in grey color and flying to all business destinations. The new sibling starting up is very colorful and supposed to fly to hip and colorful holiday destinations using whatever aircraft you like, including hot air balloons, surfboards and submarines, though it doesn't offer flights on freely available aircrafts (not yet). You buy a ticket with fancy 3D holograms printed on it and the flight attendants are not walking along the aisle but sliding in from the side. Before you board you can easily choose the color scheme of the plane, but then you need to paint it by yourself because there is no one doing that for your with fancy tools. It is fun flying with them. They are competing with the other budget airlines, Silverlight Air and Flex Air.

Erlang Air (courtesy of Zubin Wadia):
You arrive at a fairly rudimentary airport on your way to Tokyo. Only Herring is available in the food court, along with bottled water. No explanation is given in regards to the dearth of options. Stranger still, all the staff appear to have very restricted linguistic skills coupled with awkward inflections in their speech. Regardless, you figure out how to check in and get on the plane. Predictably, more Herring is served. Unfortunately, the plane hits an air pocket, resulting in a massive drop in altitude, in turn leading to the engines burning out. Strangely, all the staff are calm, they move to the exit doors and open them mid-flight... Absolute chaos reigns momentarily as we get sucked out of the aircraft and into thin air. Just as suddenly, we’re back in an aircraft, it appears to be the same one, we all have the same seats and we’re still heading to Tokyo.



Author: Gert-Jan Schouten