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Re: Algol 68 (was: RFI: Trailing blanks)

From: Akim Demaille
Subject: Re: Algol 68 (was: RFI: Trailing blanks)
Date: 04 Apr 2002 17:19:01 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.0808 (Gnus v5.8.8) XEmacs/21.4 (Common Lisp)

I never thanked you for the following message.  I now do: thanks _a lot_.


> From: Akim Demaille <address@hidden>
> Date: 29 Aug 2001 13:09:46 +0200
> Paul> The "&" is my own invention, but the "t" came from the source
> Paul> code of the ALGOL68C compiler, written by Steve Bourne (of
> Paul> Bourne shell fame),
> Is there is any place where I could actually make my education and
> learn such things?  I mean, I have a great deal of respect for Algol 68,
> but I know very little about its history.

You had to ask.  :-)  For a really brief intro, please see:

  C.H.A. Koster
  A shorter history of ALGOL68

For a longer story, full of juicy politics, please see:

  C.H.A. Koster
  The Making of Algol 68

And there is the more official version, at:

  Charles Lindsey
  A history of ALGOL 68
  2nd ACM SIGPLAN conference on History of programming languages (1993)
  pages 97-132
  (This is the abstract; the full paper requires an ACM library subscription.)

There is also a brief introduction to Algol 68 in the same
proceedings, but to my mind the best textual introduction to Algol 68 is:

  Andrew Tanenbaum
  A Tutorial on Algol 68
  ACM Computing Surveys 8, 2 (1976), 155-190.

This is the same Andrew Tanenbaum resposible for Minix, the immediate
inspiration for Linux.

If you want more history, working compilers, etc, please see the nice
index at:

I suggest ALGOL 68S <> but there are others.

PS.  While researching this I found that ALGOL68C is still
commercially available from a little-known scientific consultancy firm
based in Cambridge, England, one that does security work for the UK
government!  I can't help wondering whether any of my 25-year-old code
snippets are still in it.  (Perhaps now you see why I prefer the GPL. :-)

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