[TUHS] Why Pascal is Not My Favorite Programming Language - Unearthed!

Toby Thain toby at telegraphics.com.au
Fri Sep 1 07:26:15 AEST 2017


On 2017-08-31 4:37 PM, Clem Cole wrote:
> 
> 
> On Thu, Aug 31, 2017 at 3:47 PM, Toby Thain <toby at telegraphics.com.au
> <mailto:toby at telegraphics.com.au>> wrote:
> 
> 
> 
>     Professor Knuth seemed to manage OK, writing TeX and METAFONT in Pascal
>     ​ ​
>     (using his literate programming toolset, but that did not extend the
>     language much).
> 
> ​Indeed - problem was it ​was in a PDP-10/20 /flavor/ and would compile
> on a Vax, without /much/ hacking - I know I moved it once.  It was a
> real PITA.    Eventually folks would migrate to C implementations.
> 

Those were mechanical translations from the Pascal. You're right though,
that this could improve things when the C compilers were better than the
Pascal compilers or where only a C compiler was available.

(I ported TeX in this way a couple of times and did a lot of hacking on
a Pascal-to-C translator.)

--T

>  
> 
> 
>     I suppose Apple's Pascal and Object Pascal -- used for Lisa and
>     Macintosh applications and systems software -- comes under the "so
>     people fixed it" category?
> 
> ​That was the issue, everyone 'fixed it' and the fixes were all all
> different.   Eventually market place pressure of the PC made Turbo
> Pascal enough of a standard because so many people were using it, but by
> that time, the war had been lost.
> 
> All the things Brian points out that made C great, made it the language
> commercial folks used for both the PC and UNIX.​



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