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VAX was designed in a time where it was common to write assembly by hand, and so programmer ergonomics was an important consideration. Instructions were introduced where today we would add a library function - this peaked with POLY [1] I think?

Nowadays ISAs are compiler targets and nothing more, so human-ergonomic instructions are hilariously quaint.

1: http://uranium.vaxpower.org/~isildur/vax/week.html




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