[TUHS] B Source Code

Dan Cross crossd at gmail.com
Fri Sep 15 00:24:08 AEST 2017


On Thu, Sep 14, 2017 at 9:39 AM, Noel Chiappa <jnc at mercury.lcs.mit.edu> wrote:
>     > From: Alec Muffett
>
>     > "threaded code" in the old sense could be smaller than the equivalent
>     > CISC binary on the same machine
>
> One can think of 'threaded code' as code for a new virtual machine, one
> specialized to the task at hand.
>
>     > https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Threaded_code
>
> For those who really want to delve in some depth, see the chapter "Turning
> Cousins into Sisters" (Chapter 15, pg. 365) in "Computer Engineering: A DEC
> View of Hardware Systems Design", by Bell, Mudge and McNamara.

Huh. I happened to have that book on my shelf here at work and it's a great
description. That chapter cites a CACM paper from June 1973; citation here:
http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=362270

The paper is short; only 4 or so pages.

Now I'm confused about the timeline: I thought B was obsolete by this time
and that C was on the rise. Was the term "threaded code" in use earlier? Ah,
I see a note at the bottom of the paper that it was received in June, 1971 and
revised in December 1972, but not published until June 1973 (2 years after
initial submission). Given that the technique is described in the context of a
FORTRAN IV compiler for the PDP-11 that must have been in existence at
the time it was submitted in 1971, it seems reasonable to believe that the
technique was known in advance.

        - Dan C.


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