H ? « »

Language peer sets for JEAN:
United Kingdom
United Kingdom/1968
Designed 1968
1960s languages
Third generation
High Cold War
Genus Generation of JOSS I
Generation of JOSS I
JOSS family
Generation of JOSS I/1968
JOSS family/1968
Generation of JOSS I/United Kingdom
JOSS family/United Kingdom
Conversational/United Kingdom


alternate simple view
Country: United Kingdom
Designed 1968
Genus: Generation of JOSS I
Sammet category: On-Line

Conversational programming lanugage - a dialect of JOSS

  • 1900 ICL (International Computers Limited)

Related languages
JOSS JEAN   Dialect of


  • (1968) JEAN, International Computers Ltd., Letchworth, England, 1968
  • International Computers Ltd (1969) International Computers Ltd "ICL 1900 Series: JEAN manual"
  • Tavis, M. T. (1969) Tavis, M. T. "Conversational computing with Interfact" in Data Processing. London. 11(1) 1969, pp72-73.
  • McLain and Trice (1970) McLain, TG and Trice, AR "The MINIMOP multi-access operating system" pp237-242 Abstract Extract: Facilities provided Extract: MINIMOP 2 COMMAND LANGUAGE
          in (1970) The Computer Journal 13(3)
  • Barron (1971) Barron, DW "Approaches to conversation FORTRAN" pp123-127 Abstract Extract: Introduction Extract: City Conversational FORTRAN
          in (1971) The Computer Journal 14(1) 1971
  • Sammet (1972) Sammet, Jean E., "Roster of Programming Languages 1972" 139
          in (1972) Computers & Automation 21(6B), 30 Aug 1972
  • Stock and Stock (1973) Stock, Marylene and Stock, Karl F. "Bibliography of Programming Languages: Books, User Manuals and Articles from PLANKALKUL to PL/I" Verlag Dokumentation, Pullach/Munchen 1973 309 Abstract
          in (1972) Computers & Automation 21(6B), 30 Aug 1972
    • Extract: Jean error message by an anonymous usenet poster
    • Jean error message by an anonymous usenet poster
      "The classic short message was from JOSS, one of the early interactive languages (from the mid-1960's; it ran on a machine at RAND Corporation called the JOHNNIAC). It was on a small machine. It had one catchall message: EH?"
      We used a language called JEAN on ICL's 1900 series. We knew this was adialect of JOSS but it must have been closer than we knew as it used the same error message. The JEAN error message I liked was "Your expression has defeated me" which was generated by a program such as

      1.1 X=X
      1.2 PRINT X
      I never understood this until I was explaining to someone the meaning of recursion in Algol. To demonstrate that simpler languages could not handle recursion I gave JEAN a recursive definition of a factorial and to my surprise it gave the right answer!

      To understand this you also need to know that in JEAN
      SET X=3 gave the variable X a value.
      LET X=3 defined X as a function and the default verb was LET, not SET.
      Hence "Your formula has defeated me" meant that it had run out of store because of infinite recursion. What a pity Basic defeated the much more elegant JOSS.

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