Algol & MTS / was Re: Bootstrappable language
hilpert at cs.ubc.ca
Thu Dec 11 16:14:16 CST 2008
Paul Koning wrote:
> >>>>> "Brent" == Brent Hilpert <hilpert at cs.ubc.ca> 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.
I could be quite wrong about the "near 68". I just pulled out the textbook we
used ("FANGET AN - an algolw primer"/1978), so the language was actually
"AlgolW". It doesn't discuss the relationship to -60 or -68, so I don't know.
I'm presuming the W is for Waterloo but I could be confusing that with WATFIV
(Waterloo Fortran IV) that we also used, as well.
It was all 30 years ago and I haven't used either Algol or Pascal since, but as
I recall there was some limitation around Pascal that bugged me.
(I tend to prefer curly-brace languages over BEGIN-END languages, but that's
just another religious argument... )
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