strangest systems I've sent email from

Raymond Wiker rwiker at
Fri Apr 29 15:33:12 CDT 2016

> On 29 Apr 2016, at 22:24 , Paul Koning <paulkoning at> wrote:
>>> So does Pascal.
>> Which didn't have a lot of the capabilities needed to be system language at
>> _that point in time_ (remember, this is about 'why did C succeed, back then');
>> it was, after all, originally designed as a pedagogical language.
> Pedagogical language?  I'm not sure.  BASIC, yes.  But Pascal I believe was a serious language.  I learned it in one week, and used it to build a code generator for a compiler in a compiler construction class.  We originally used PL/1 there (the Cornell implementation) but had to stop because it was utterly unreliable, and switched to PDP-10 Pascal instead.  Worked great.

Pascal most certainly was a pedagogical language - it started out as a pseudo-code notation, which was eventually implemented. 

Interestingly, Lisp was originally just a mathematical notation for computer programs devised by John McCarthy; Steve Russell realized (to McCarthy's surprise) that it was actually possible to implement the eval function, turning Lisp into a programming language rather than just a notation.

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