Algol & MTS / was Re: Bootstrappable language

Paul Koning Paul_Koning at
Thu Dec 11 15:51:27 CST 2008

>>>>> "Brent" == Brent Hilpert <hilpert at> writes:

 Brent> We were taught Algol in 1st year Comp Sci, I quite liked it
 Brent> (except for the verbosity of "BEGIN"-"END") for it's
 Brent> regularity, but that may have something to do with it being
 Brent> the first structured language I experienced (various
 Brent> assemblers and BASICs prior). Waterloo version - I believe it
 Brent> was something near Algol 68, running in batch (cards) under
 Brent> MTS.

Near Algol-68?  Hm.  Algol-68 was a pretty rare beast, and quite
thoroughly different from Algol-60.  Much harder to implement, too.

(Then again... I have alisting -- tech report -- of an Algol-68
interpreter written in Algol-60.  Maybe I should scan that one?)

 Brent> PASCAL was used in 2nd year - seemed like a step backwards.

Hm, I wouldn't have said that.  Did a bunch in Algol-60 (my first
language, too) and some years later in Pascal, having traveled through
Fortran and Basic and PL/I in between.  I would say Pascal is every
bit as good as Algol-60 -- a few missing things added, and a  few
mistakes removed.  Both have sane syntax, quite unlike the absurdities
of C, or (almost but not quite as bad) PL/I.


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