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history of programming languages-ii

thomas j. bergin1996

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2017-08-30

algol

i'm nearly done with history of programming languages ii. it's a pretty good book. it was published in 1996 and probably there are better, newer texts, but being a not-rich person i tend toward the free stuff first, and i figure if i can get something without going to the dark web, it's probably mostly ok to download. the book is a collection of various invited papers and talks and i'm going to do a series of posts summarizing them as briefly as i can manage.

algol was a language for codifying algorithms. i say was because it's dead. why did it die? 1) the specification was too hard to implement - it's 49 years later and how many languages allow dynamic arrays? 2) the specification didn't do things like specify standard i/o functions -- made portability a mess. the language lives on mostly in its influence on subsequent languages.