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Algol 60 implementation (1964) [pdf] (softwarepreservation.org)
42 points by fanf2 40 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 9 comments



A very interesting book; I have already read some parts, and also implemented a few things: https://github.com/rochus-keller/Algol60.

The Algol 60 language report appeared in May 1960, so exactly sixty years ago.


And ESPOL/NEWP were one of the first dialects used for systems programming, 10 years before C was born, still being sold by Unisys.


As a reminder, we are still looking for complete distributions of the Burroughs B6700 MCP releases that include ESPOL/NEWP so we can complete an emulator and preserve this system into the future.


No chance getting collaboration out of Unisys?


We received some files from Release II.1 (early 1972) but it is missing significant components. After that time we have bits and pieces but nothing complete. We remain hopeful that someone has a distribution tape from the 1970s and we would expect that to have all the needed components.


Unisys has helped but not unexpectedly the machines we are targeting were end-of-life in the late 1970s and so they did not keep software for them beyond that time.


Also interesting to see the hardware which this compiler was designed for: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Electric_KDF9


For context, the first FORTRAN compiler was delivered in 1957[1] and LISP in 1958[2].

My eye was caught by this remark, a propos the careful specification of Algol 60's syntax,

> indeed many early languages were virtually defined by the action (not always predictable) of their compilers.

But they immediately qualify that with

> Unfortunately the rigour with which the syntax of ALGOL is defined does not extend to the semantics...

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fortran#History

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisp_(programming_language)#Hi...


LISP more like 1960 for LISP I -- see http://www.softwarepreservation.org/projects/LISP/lisp15_fam...:

J. McCarthy, R. Brayton, D. Edwards, P. Fox, L. Hodes, D. Luckham, K. Maling, D. Park and S. Russell. LISP I Programmer's Manual. Computation Center and Research Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, March 1, 1960.

    Copy 1: Computer History Museum Lot X????.200?, George Michael donation. http://bitsavers.org/pdf/mit/rle_lisp/LISP_I_Programmers_Manual_Mar60.pdf
    Copy 2: Science and Technology Collection, M.I.T. Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts, catalog number 1993.053, donated by Timothy P. Hart. Missing cover and Acknowledgements. http://www.softwarepreservation.org/projects/LISP/book/LISP%20I%20Programmers%20Manual.pdf
    Copy 3: From Supplementary Materials for Oral History of Phyllis A. Fox. The History of Numerical Analysis and Scientific Computing, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). http://history.siam.org/sup/Fox_1960_LISP.pdf




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