[TUHS] Algol68 vs. C at Bell Labs

scj at yaccman.com scj at yaccman.com
Thu Jun 30 01:17:01 AEST 2016


Steve Bourne tried hard to interest us in A68, and I personally liked some
features of it (especially the automatic type morphing of arguments into
the expected types).  But the documentation was a huge barrier--all the
familiar ideas were given completely new (and unintuitive) names, making
it very difficult to get into.

I may be biased in my view, but I think one fatal mistake that A68 made
was that it had no scheme for porting the language to the plethora of
computers and systems around at that time.  (The Bliss language from CMU
had a similar problem, requiring a bigger computer to compile for the
PDP-11).  Pascal had P-code, and gave C a real run, especially as a
teaching language.  C had PCC.

Nowadays, newer languages like Python just piggyback on C or C++...



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