paulkoning at comcast.net
Fri Aug 7 14:22:18 CDT 2015
> On Aug 7, 2015, at 3:08 PM, Eric Christopherson <echristopherson at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Fri, Aug 7, 2015 at 1:16 PM, Rich Alderson
> <RichA at livingcomputermuseum.org> wrote:
>> From: Eric Christopherson
>> Sent: Friday, August 07, 2015 9:18 AM
>>> Is there a subset of this group for people who like to program in
>>> languages or language implementations or libraries that are no longer
>>> in common mainstream use? Or other groups for such a thing?
> I think maybe the scope of this question probably depends a lot on the
> scope of the person asking it. I've only worked with microcomputers,
> so things like COBOL and RPG (while I'm sure they are available on
> micros in some form) are completely out of my ken.
Those are still fairly mainstream; my sister makes her living programming in those languages.
> I don't like Forth as much as PS (doesn't seem as elegant), but it
> does have its charms, and slowly I'm digesting it and learning its
> conventions. It's nice that it's easily implemented on a small system.
Yes, which is why it is used in some boot ROMs to this day. A basic implementation is only a few hundred lines of assembly language, plus however much Forth code you want for the not-so-primitive operations.
PostScript is a Forth derivative with different name binding rules. It doesn’t seem any more elegant to me, but it does have a few more data types. It also requires vastly more memory, which is quite ok given its intended purpose.
>> ...I do a lot of my daily programming in PDP-10 assemblers, usually Macro-20
>> but when working on WAITS it's FAIL and on ITS it's MIDAS. In addition,
>> I occasionally program in MIT TECO, to keep my hand in as the maintainer
>> of the original EMACS (RMS said so).
> Ah... text editors are another big interest of mine. That's very cool.
> I should check TECO out some day.
While TECO is certainly a text editor, it also qualifies as a programming language. For one thing, the first Emacs was implemented in TECO. For another, you can find famous programs like the two-like program that prints pi to hundreds of digits, one digit at a time. (That’s an amazing accomplishment: a “spigot algorithm”. Look for the paper by the program’s author, Stanley Rabinowitz; it can be found on-line.)
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