Pascal not considered harmful - was Re: Rich kids are into COBOL

Chuck Guzis cclist at
Thu Feb 19 12:19:45 CST 2015

On 02/19/2015 09:44 AM, Fred Cisin wrote:

> 'course then I had to remind them an awful lot of times that the
> assignment required SAVING a source file (and it had to be the final
> version, not an earlier draft) and create an executable file on their
> disk, not just test run it in the IDE.  I even made them print out the
> relevant portion of the directory, and kicked back a lot of submissions
> where the executable file and source file did not have appropriate
> sequence.

My first encounter with Pascal was in the early 70s (pre 
personal-computer era).  It was part-and-parcel of the "structured 
programming" fad that was sweeping through the profession at the time.

Of course, most took "structured programming" as meaning "GOTO-less" and 
nothing more.  Others observed that "structured programming" was what 
good programmers had been doing for eons.  Finally, one of my co-workers 
observed "show me a machine without the equivalent of a GOTO instruction".

Still, the corporate design standards group declared that this was the 
way of the future and designed their own "GOTO-less" language to be 
henceforth used for all utility systems programs--many of which had been 
written in FORTRAN.


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