Algol vs Fortran was RE: VHDL vs Verilog

N0body H0me n0body.h0me at
Mon Feb 8 18:32:10 CST 2010

> -----Original Message-----
> From: mcguire at
> Sent: Mon, 8 Feb 2010 18:58:57 -0500
> To: cctalk at
> Subject: Re: Algol vs Fortran was RE: VHDL vs Verilog
> On Feb 8, 2010, at 6:50 PM, N0body H0me wrote:
>>>> Let's see--the last standard revision to FORTRAN was Fortran 2003;
>>>> that to Algol was, what, Algol-68?
>>> Umm I still like Fortran IV. I know you can get II or IV for the
>>> PDP8.
>> Here, here.  The thing that impressed me about FORTRAN (well, as
>> as science major, anyway) was that it could do complex numbers as
>> a *NATIVE* datatype!!  Now, I know for you OOP and C++ guys, custom,
>> exotic datatypes are a dime a dozen. But in 1980, I was sure glad
>> I could do complex math without all of the extra baggage that would
>> have been necessary if I had to use, say, BASIC-Plus.
>    Yeah, but how often do those C++ custom exotic datatypes map to
> real datatypes supported by the hardware?  (in other words, which
> ones will actually be FAST?)

That's certainly an issue.  I wonder how many applications are slower and more overweight due to their being crafted with OOP than they would be if they were coded using more traditional methods.

Our school didn't have a float point unit on our PDP-11; I was 
*certain* that DEC's FORTRAN compiler could generate much faster 
code than anything I could bodge together using BASIC (of any stripe),
and I could code it in less time.

My principal fascination with FORTRAN from the beginning, was 
that it had this 'purpose built' feature to easily handle complex 
math (and it did it quite well, IIRC).  I have great respect for
individuals who insist on purpose-built tools.


>> Now I'm all nostalgic.  Time to dredge up the the ol' 11/73 from
>> storage . . . .
>    That sounds like the Right Thing To Do(tm).
>             -Dave
> --
> Dave McGuire
> Port Charlotte, FL

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