Self modifying code, lambda calculus - Re: ENIAC programming

Chuck Guzis cclist at
Mon Sep 21 17:48:26 CDT 2015

On 09/21/2015 02:58 PM, Paul Koning wrote:

>> PASCAL was first implemented in FORTRAN.
> Really?  I find it hard to imagine that Wirth would use Fortran for a
> compiler.  Never mind his background in structured languages --
> writing a compiler in Fortran is just much harder.  Not as hard as
> writing one in COBOL, but still...

Well, that was a wink-wink-nudge-nudge statement from yours truly. 
Wirth & Co. started the project in FORTRAN, but gave up, particularly 
when it was realized that implementing data structures and recursion in 
FORTRAN was going to be a bit of a task.  I think the result was 
bootstrapped.  I've got a copy of the ETH CDC compiler from 1976, 
bearing Urs Amann's name as the author.  It isn't exactly Pascal, either.

But if the issue really was data structures, maybe COBOL would have been 
a better choice.  I do recall that there was at least an Algol-60 
compiler on CDC iron at that time.


More information about the cctalk mailing list