[TUHS] Unix stories, Stephen Bourne and IF-FI in C code

Derek Fawcus dfawcus+lists-tuhs at employees.org
Tue Jan 10 04:48:09 AEST 2017


On Mon, Jan 09, 2017 at 08:30:58am -0700, Marc Rochkind wrote:
> If he in fact studied Algol 68, that's worth a story in its own right!

Surrey University, 1986-1990; reading EE,  we had a set of programming
lectures where we were required to learn it (to some extent) as we had
to submit course work written in it.

I tended to do the work in C on the dept Gould running unix,  then
transliterate to Algol 68 for the final submission.  This was because
the compiler was only available as a batch submission process,  and we'd
have long turn arounds just to get past syntax checks.  Especially when
100 of us were trying to submit jobs at the same time.

I still recall the frustration of a few hours turn around just to get
an error about 'semi-colon not required here', which would then complain
'semi-colon required once one removed it'.

I actually quite liked it,  just it was a bit verbose,  and I never figured
out how to do pointers or dynamic allocation in it at the time,  so some
conversions ended up being less than optimal.

As I recall one could convert the ternary op to an IF expression,  and the
loop construct combined all of 'while' 'for' and 'do while' depending upon
which syntax elements one used.

DF


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