Andrew Cooke addresses "An Introduction to Programming Languages" to the same audience of practical programmers who read this page. Moreover, much of his content is comparative.
This empirical comparison of a handful of languages is very important.
Several of the benchmarks below are pertinent to scripting languages.
In my opinion, one difference between the Python and Perl comparison page and the Tcl comparison page is that the first two consist of pointers to papers and presentations comparing the languages. These appear to in general come to the conclusion that the respective language is the preferred solution. The Tcl page is a series of usenet postings accumulated over the past 3 years taken out of the context of the discussion, but each of which make some points which seemed at the time important to retain. As such, the Tcl page comes across to me as less of an public relations page. Both styles of comparison are useful.
The "Tcl-ers' Wiki" includes a great deal of information which compares Tcl to other languages. Start, for example, with "Is Tcl Different?".
Our only "Regular Expressions" columns for January 2000, called "Can your favorite scripting language take it to the next level?", commented on the scaleability of Perl, Python, REBOL, and Tcl.
Keith Waclena publicizes his Programming Language Crisis. James Logajan decides on Python in his Tale of Five Languages. Glenn Vanderburg documents The Tcl War which erupted in fall 1994, and a subsequent skirmish on the same territory.
Perl proponent John Porter labels Logajan's adventure "amusing but worthless". I believe it fairly represents common judgments in language particularly palatable to some readers. Porter also observes ("so out of date as to be nearly meaningless, except that his methodology is very interesting") that Waclena's procedure is more pertinent than his results, long superannuated by 1998.
[Write up comparisons of Lua to other languages.]
While conventional wisdom has it that text-mangling is Perl's strength, and its best practitioners are indeed astonishingly capable [give examples], Billy Tanksley parenthetically argues that Rebol's LL parsing engine gives a long-term approach which is both "much simpler and more powerful" than regular expression composition. Python could easily move in that direction ...
Craig McElwee writes typical code for several Web-service alternatives for developerWorks. Do not take his remarks as authoritative. However, even when details are mistaken (he seems rather removed from good practice with Perl and Tcl, for example), he's broadly correct in his conclusions.
Matthew Kennel compares Sather and Eiffel. Often, in fact; it's a topic on which he's good, and to which he often returns. [Explain CAT problem.]
Erann Gat presents "Lisp as an alternative to Java".
Lars Garshol writes wisely on performance comparisons. While his remarks respond to a question about Python and Java, they apply far more widely. Self-described "Java expert" Glyph Lefkowitz also compares Python and Java, and concludes the latter has few advantages.
The Register and Neil Hodgson compared Python and C# shortly after the first announcement of the latter.
Ada vs. Smalltalk
Eiffel vs. Smalltalk
Victor Putz measures achieved results in C++ and Eiffel.
Maya Stodte compares Ruby to Python and Perl, mostly, with brief appearances by Smalltalk and Eiffel.
[Great usability comparison between Eiffel and C++]
Dylan vs. C++
A methodical case study by an interested party illustrates Dylan's advantages over Java for a system-programming task.
I like Greg Ewing's "Comparison of Python and Ruby Extension Interfaces". Doug Way's related comments on Smalltalk are also accurate. In another direction, Ruby has Perl's performance and much of its syntax, Smalltalk's purity, and Python's simplicity, easy extensibility (or is it easier? Ruby collects garbage, while Python counts references), and consistency. Matz recognizes that Python is more portable, particularly on the fringes. Maya Stodte nicely compares Ruby with both Perl and Python [now dated-2000].
Ruby is usefully compared with Smalltalk, Perl, and Python. The Ruby inner circle maintains a page of comparisons with other languages; this often includes "Thirty-seven Reasons I Love Ruby". Matz makes a particular observation about method invocation. A significant element of my own infatuation with Ruby is the first English-language Ruby book, by the XP and Pattern guys; they've done a breathtaking job of capturing the Ruby mentality in a programming introduction. I'd like to write so well.
Ruby vs. C++
In his explanation of a project to translate from Eiffel to Java, John Potter, an advocate of the former, writes "The principal advantages of Eiffel compared with Java are genericity, multiple inheritance and support for assertions." Victor Putz describes his switch from C++ to Eiffel. Bertrand Meyer wrote a classic anthem of Eiffel's superiority over C++ and Java. ... direct comparison of Java and C++ ...
Chris Rathman and friends implement a sample problem in a variety of (mostly object-oriented) languages.
One quite serious comparative language comparison concluded OCaML a remarkably unambiguous winner for a range of numeric and scientific work.
[... personal remarks ...]
In private correspondence, Mike Croucher wrote me this about MATLAB, Octave, and Scilab, which I reproduce with his permission: "...
... Octave is better at some things, scilab at others."
While there are thousands of interesting implementations of significant languages, I particularly want to emphasize on this page the availability of several web-hosted implementations. ... Simply Scala specializes in Scala (comfortingly enough). ... trypython ...
Benchmarks are powerful drugs, capable of great benefit and harm. Please use these prudently:
Samuel A. Falvo II aptly characterizes Forth and LISP as "diabolical opposites" for a Python audience. Billy Tanksley and I frequently link these two.
[ Python vs. Tcl; Scheme vs. Tcl; Java vs. Tcl (EET) ...]
[languages; modes; DCOM; CORBA; ...]
"Comparing Development Costs of C and Ada"