Structured Fortran - was Re: Self modifying code, lambda calculus

Jay Jaeger cube1 at
Tue Sep 22 21:11:29 CDT 2015

On 9/22/2015 8:49 PM, Chuck Guzis wrote:
> On 09/22/2015 06:31 PM, Jon Elson wrote:
>> So, B was never actually a FORTRAN compiler, just Ken started
>> thinking about FORTRAN grammar and within one DAY took off in a
>> different direction.   By that time (1969 or so) FORTRAN was a really
>> old language, and considered way out of date by most universities'
>> Comp Sci departments.
> Which is why C started out with a COMPLEX data type...NOT.  FORTRAN can
> run on a much wider variety of machines than can C.
> C was nothing more than a bare step up from assembly.
> --Chuck

There is a big difference between "can run" and "does run".  I'd wager
that C *can* run on anything one could use for any reasonably useful
FORTRAN (thus excluding things like the IBM 1410 card oriented FORTRAN
compiler, though I am aware of an effort to develop a small C subset
compiler for the 1401).

The assertion that C was "nothing more than a bare step up from
assembly" is just that.  An assertion.  One with which I disagree pretty

Old-time C can pretty easily handle a COMPLEX data type by defining a
simple struct containing two reals (or even ints, I suppose, if one
wants to constrain it that way), and a simple set of operations which
are passed the address of one or more such structs, returning a real/int
or the address of such a struct (for functions).  I would expect lots of
people did that sort of thing.  (Which also goes to show that C is a LOT
more than just a "bare step up from assembly").


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