> The first autocode and its compiler were developed by Alick Glennie in 1952 for the Mark 1 computer at the University of Manchester and is considered by some to be the first compiled programming language.
which seemingly contradicts the implication in the NTY article that Booker was the principal author of Autocode.
It seems Booker and Glennie were coworkers at Turing's lab. Anyone know more?
EDIT: The Glennie claim is sourced to a 1976 paper coauthored by Donald Knuth, where Knuth says
> The unsung hero of this development was Alick E. Glennie of Fort Halstead, the Royal Armaments Research Establishment. We may justly say "unsung" because it is very difficult to deduce from the published literature that Glennie introduced this system.
"Previous to Brooker's work, Alick Glennie who was an MOS external user of the machine had developed his personal automatic coding scheme in the summer of 1952. Glennie's system, which he called autocode, was very machine-dependent and was not released to other users." -- Early computing in Britain, 1948-1958, pg 257
mov rax, 1 ; write(
mov rdi, 1 ; STDOUT,
mov rsi, msg ; msg,
mov rdx, len ; sizeof(msg)
syscall ; );
mov rax, 60 ; exit(
mov rdi, 0 ; EXIT_SUCCESS
syscall ; );
msg: db "RIP Tony, Father of Assembly Language", 10
len: equ $ - msg%
mov $1,%rax # write(
mov $1,%rdi # STDOUT,
mov $msg,%rsi # msg,
mov $len,%rdx # sizeof(msg)
syscall # );
mov $60,%rax # exit(
mov $0,%rdi # EXIT_SUCCESS
syscall # );
msg: .ascii "RIP Tony, Father of Assembly Language\n"
len = . - msg
gcc -c src.s && ld src.o && ./a.out
Most of my assembler experience is with 6502 or ARM.
A small website with a few dozen compilers/assemblers, just press F8 or click "Run it" to try the sample above:
Hundreds of compilers and assemblers are offered online and configurable with tio.run in a bit of a more complex website, just hit the play button:
The industry really was (still is I guess) very small.
Maybe arguably not true for scientific progress.
Nitrocellulose starts the development of guncotton, high explosives, celluloid, photographic film, and all sorts of modern plastics. Cheap steel enables engines, steel hulled ships, ICE vehicles, chemical plants, oil refineries, electrical machinery, etc.
Further progress in chemical engineering results in fuels, pesticides, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, solid state devices, integrated circuits, lasers, etc.
Chemistry doesn't have the same stereotypical relationship to engineering that physics does.
(This comment is based on what these terms mean in the UK at an undergraduate degree level. I'm an electronics engineer and I know a couple people who studied chemical engineering. If the terms mean something different elsewhere in the world I'd love to know :) )
My working definition borrows from John Stuart Mill, who identifies technology as the study of means (to an end or goal), while science is the study of causes (how or why things happen, to which I'd add a general notion of "structured knowledge").
There are other forms of knowledge, an interesting topic itself, but I'll skip that.
There's a tremendous set of ancient technologies, which can get expansive depending on your views. Everything from speech to simple machines, textiles, agriculture, medicine, metalurgy and mining, and ancient chemistry and alchemy.
What changed starting, arguably, at some point between roughly 1620 (publication year of Francis Bacon's Novum Organum) and about 1800 (patent expiry on James Watt's enhancements to the Newcomen steam engine) was a change in attitudes to both science and technology (or the practical arts, as they were then called), due to numerous factors. Much of that owed to the availability of better and more abundant (at least in the short term) fuels: coal, oil, and natural gas, and the capabilities afforded by those, especially in metallurgy (greater strength, purity, specifically-tuned characteristics, and of course, abundance), as well as in the understanding of natural phenomena: optics, thermodynamics, elements, electricity, and later radioactivity, affording more capabilities.
There was still a huge amount of pre-industrial, non-industrial technology, much of it originating in China and documented spectacularly in Joseph Needham's Science and Civilisation in China, a 30+ volume opus begun in the 1950s and still in development.
Many studies of technology look at patent filings, which is at best a rather poor metric -- one that's in many ways a bureaucratic, commercial, and ontological artefact. Looking at the costs and derived value might be of more use. I've been looking into an ontology of technological mechanisms, for which I've generally settled on about nine factors (discussed in other comments on HN, as well as elsewhere) which I've found useful.
Much of what is commonly called "technology" today falls into only a very narrow region of that. And much of what is considered economic growth can be traced very specifically to the increased energy available per capita in productive use.
There's also a pronounced set of diminishing returns to increased innovation and R&D, generally. Suggesting an other-than-bottomless reservoir of potential from which to draw.
Also, his name is Tony Brooker, not Booker.
I made the submission on my MacBook Air and yes, the r key is wonky. Still, typo is my responsibility.
RIP bro. :'(
BR R14 / SVC 3
The literary culture is still very strong in the UK. But what happened to its science and technology landscape? Merely a century ago, it was at the forefront of science and technology. Where did the UK lose its steam? Anyone with historical insights into the UK care to shed more light on this?
One question, from where are you, I have head a lot about UK but never about "great food"? :D
Though, if you did your research, you could find really good, authentic, British cuisine (eg: St. John's).
OTOH, how much of a colonial, shared history do you have to have to accept Indian cuisine as "traditional" in the UK?
The Internet changed everything. Someone starts a food trend in Austin, and two weeks later it's on the menus in L.A.
Although one may argue they are no longer "British" given all of them are no longer owned by British.
Will HN host a black bar on its header for a day to honour him?