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Often heated, debates regarding different programming languages' effectiveness remain inconclusive because of scarce data and a lack of direct comparisons. The author addresses that challenge, comparatively analyzing 80 implementations of the phone-code program in seven different languages (C, C++, Java, Perl, Python, Rexx and Tcl). Further, for each language, the author analyzes several separate implementations by different programmers. The comparison investigates several aspects of each language, including program length, programming effort, runtime efficiency, memory consumption, and reliability. The author uses comparisons to present insight into program language performance