Pascal in production environments (was Re: lisadraw)
wizard at voyager.net
Thu Nov 9 01:10:05 CST 2006
On Wed, 2006-11-08 at 18:04 -0500, Brad Parker wrote:
> I will claim (and others will disagree) that being to write macros which
> are executed to generate code allows you to transcend the "assembler
> metaphore". You can effectively make a new language for each problem.
... or paragraph...
> I enjoyed my time with Pascal and TSX, but we could have done a better job
> with a language more suited to the problem we were trying to solve.
I worked at a company which produced a distributed processing
database system. The program set was just over a million lines of
Pascal. It was a specialized Pascal, however, which started out life as
HP Pascal. With a better library, it was a truly useful language. It
was ALWAYS, as I see it, more suited for applications programs than
system work, however. C is good when it functions as a general-case
assembler. In other words, for jobs that you would LIKE to do in
assembler, except for the fact that it would be limited to one machine.
I especially like the Small C model - congregate all the
machine-dependent routines in one spot, for easy modification for
alternate machines. Being able to drop to assembler is cool, too, and
removes most objections. Program logic is not fun in assembler, whereas
sometimes nothing but assembler will produce the tight code needed. In
Small C, I often wrote the programs, made sure they worked, and then
took a few of the crucial routines, and re-did often used sections of
them in assembler. Best of both worlds, IMHO. Speed of programming,
speed of execution.
> no flames or long discussions about C, please.
> I would be interested to hear about other languages people used on
> pdp-11's however :-)
I've got a weird one: MUMPS. It's kind of a mutant
OS/DB/programming language. It allows all sorts of stuff, including
self-modifying code. It's GREAT on list manipulations, and truly horrid
at any kind of math. It was originally designed to deal with patient
records for hospitals, and smells a lot like BASIC. For some obscure
reason, American publisher Van Nostrand Reinhold considers me an expert
on it, although I've only done a bit of maintenance programming in it.
I get called to review any books on the subject submitted to them -- or
did until my last move. (I think I lost them...) Anyway, Brad, is that
weird enough for you? I used it on PDP 11/23 and PDP 11/45 machines.
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