USE Scientific Compiler UNIVAX 1103A 

UNIVAC Scientific Exchange (UNIVAC user group) equivalent to the SHARE compiler

Ramo Woolridge compiler for UNIVAC,  operational February 1957

according to Bemer 1957, it was inferior to Fortran because it lacked algebraic power

Places Hardware:
Related languages
USE => IT 3   Targetting
USE => MUSE   Enhancement of
USE => TRANSUSE   Extension of

  • "Formation of USE - a Cooperative Organization of U03A Users" 16 February 1956 view details Extract: Details of group and of proposed USE copmiler
    Formation of USE - a Cooperative Organization of 1103A Users

                                   16 February 1956

    In December of 1955 the desire was expressed by several 1103A purchasers to form a cooperative organization of 1103A users.  Accordingly,  a meeting was held at the Ramo-Wooldridge Corporation on December 19 and 20 to form such an organization.  Attending were representatives of Boeing Airplane Company. Holloman Air Force Base, Lockheed Missile Systems Division,  Ramo-Wooldridge Corporation and Remington Rand Univac Division.

    The name USE - Univac Scientific Exchange - was selected for the organization.  A number of objectives for the group were listed.

             1.  Exchange of programming techniques and ideas.
             2.  Exchange of programs and subroutines.
             3.  Exchange of information on computing organizations,  operating procedures, etc.
             4.  Adoption of a common programming language for exchanged programs.
             5.  Adoption of a standard format for program write-ups.
             6.  Adoption of standard subroutine conventions.
             7.  Setting up of a cooperative manpower effort.
             8.  Cooperation at the program planning stage.
             9.  Achievement of a uniform general purpose system for the operation of all 1103A's.

    It was pointed out that Remington Rand is continuing the Central Exchange for 1103 and 1103A information.  However,  material in theCentral Exchange is unsolicited and unedited.  The philosophy has been to require no special  language or format for Central Exchange material;  this makes it easy to contribute material and to distribute it quickly.

    Membership in USE is open to any organization which is renting or has purchased or has a firm order for one or more Model 1103A computers.  USE  publications will be available to 1103 and 1103A users only.  These publications will be distributed to all 1103 and 1103A installations.

    A structure of working committees was established.  On January 9 and  10 the committees met as guests of the Boeing Airplane Company in Seattle. Washington.

    Specifications for a common language for the exchange of library programs were discussed.  It was emphasized that a particular installation would in no sense be bound to use this common language internally.  The common language is designed to be sufficiently general to include most other languages.  A minimum assembly program for translating common-language routines to octal programs was described.  Specifications were also proposed for subroutine format and standard program write-ups.

    Plans were made for immediate cooperation in achieving routines for the 1103A.  Investigations of existing routines were initiated to determine the value of adapting such routines to the 1103A.  In particular,  common function routines from the Central Exchange and general matrix routines were to be surveyed.  Assignments were made for the framing of specifications for minimum and ultimate data input and output routines.

    Discussions of a common compiling routine were begun.   The goals of such a compiler were listed as:

         Translation:  Symbolic to octal
         Subroutine referencing
         Preparation for input and output formats
         Algebraic coding
         Storage assignment
         Automatic identification
         Automatic post-mortem and diagnosis

    Arrangements were made for meetings in St. Paul on February 16 and 17 as guests of Remington Rand Univac Division.

          in 1103 CENTRAL EXCHANGE NEWSLETTER NUMBER 8, February 1956 view details
  • Mersel, J., 1956: "Program Interrupt on the Univac Scientific Computer" pp52-53 view details
          in [JCC 09] Proceedings of the Western Joint Computer Conference, San Francisco, Calif., 1956 view details
  • Bemer, R. W. "The Status of Automatic Programming for Scientific Problems" view details Abstract: A catalogue of automatic coding systems that are either operational or in the process of development together with brief descriptions of some of the more important ones Extract: USE and COMPILER I
    There are two existing scientific compilers for this machine: the
    COMPILER I of Boeing Seattle, and USE, the official compiler of that organization, prepared by Ramo-Wooldridge and others. Although both have many attractive features, they are not quite equal to FORTRAN in power, for USE does not use the algebraic format, and COMPILER I, which does, does not allow subscripting in the algebraic statement. Extract: Summary
    Let me elaborate these points with examples. UNICODE is expected to require about fifteen man-years. Most modern assembly systems must take from six to ten man-years. SCAT expects to absorb twelve people for most of a year. The initial writing of the 704 FORTRAN required about twenty-five man-years. Split among many different machines, IBM's Applied Programming Department has over a hundred and twenty programmers. Sperry Rand probably has more than this, and for utility and automatic coding systems only! Add to these the number of customer programmers also engaged in writing similar systems, and you will see that the total is overwhelming.
    Perhaps five to six man-years are being expended to write the Alodel 2 FORTRAN for the 704, trimming bugs and getting better documentation for incorporation into the even larger supervisory systems of various installations. If available, more could undoubtedly be expended to bring the original system up to the limit of what we can now conceive. Maintenance is a very sizable portion of the entire effort going into a system.
    Certainly, all of us have a few skeletons in the closet when it comes to adapting old systems to new machines. Hardly anything more than the flow charts is reusable in writing 709 FORTRAN; changes in the characteristics of instructions, and tricky coding, have done for the rest. This is true of every effort I am familiar with, not just IBM's.
    What am I leading up to? Simply that the day of diverse development of automatic coding systems is either out or, if not, should be. The list of systems collected here illustrates a vast amount of duplication and incomplete conception. A computer manufacturer should produce both the product and the means to use the product, but this should be done with the full co-operation of responsible users. There is a gratifying trend toward such unification in such organizations as SHARE, USE, GUIDE, DUO, etc. The PACT group was a shining example in its day. Many other coding systems, such as FLAIR, PRINT, FORTRAN, and USE, have been done as the result of partial co-operation. FORTRAN for the 705 seems to me to be an ideally balanced project, the burden being carried equally by IBM and its customers.
    Finally, let me make a recommendation to all computer installations. There seems to be a reasonably sharp distinction between people who program and use computers as a tool and those who are programmers and live to make things easy for the other people. If you have the latter at your installation, do not waste them on production and do not waste them on a private effort in automatic coding in a day when that type of project is so complex. Offer them in a cooperative venture with your manufacturer (they still remain your employees) and give him the benefit of the practical experience in your problems. You will get your investment back many times over in ease of programming and the guarantee that your problems have been considered.
    The IT language is also showing up in future plans for many different computers. Case Institute, having just completed an intermediate symbolic assembly to accept IT output, is starting to write an IT processor for UNIVAC. This is expected to be working by late summer of 1958. One of the original programmers at Carnegie Tech spent the last summer at Ramo-Wooldridge to write IT for the 1103A. This project is complete except for input-output and may be expected to be operational by December, 1957. IT is also being done for the IBM 705-1, 2 by Standard Oil of Ohio, with no expected completion date known yet. It is interesting to note that Sohio is also participating in the 705 FORTRAN effort and will undoubtedly serve as the basic source of FORTRAN-to- IT-to-FORTRAN translational information. A graduate student at the University of Michigan is producing SAP output for IT (rather than SOAP) so that IT will run on the 704; this, however, is only for experience; it would be much more profitable to write a pre-processor from IT to FORTRAN (the reverse of FOR TRANSIT) and utilize the power of FORTRAN for free.
          in "Proceedings of the Fourth Annual Computer Applications Symposium" , Armour Research Foundation, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Illinois 1957 view details
  • [Bemer, RW] [State of ACM automatic coding library August 1958] view details
          in "Proceedings of the Fourth Annual Computer Applications Symposium" , Armour Research Foundation, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Illinois 1957 view details
  • [Bemer, RW] [State of ACM automatic coding library May 1959] view details Extract: Obiter Dicta
    Bob Bemer states that this table (which appeared sporadically in CACM) was partly used as a space filler. The last version was enshrined in Sammet (1969) and the attribution there is normally misquoted.
          in [ACM] CACM 2(05) May 1959 view details
  • Carr, John W III "Avoiding Training Programmers" in Computer Bulletin December 1958 view details
          in [ACM] CACM 2(05) May 1959 view details
  • Carr, John W III; "Computer Programming" volume 2, chapter 2, pp115-121 view details
          in E. M. Crabbe, S. Ramo, and D. E. Wooldridge (eds.) "Handbook of Automation, Computation, and Control," John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 1959. view details
  • Sammet, Jean E "1960 Tower of Babel" diagram on the front of CACM January 1961 view details

          in [ACM] CACM 4(01) (Jan 1961) view details
  • Bemer, R "ISO TC97/SC5/WGA(1) Survey of Programming Languages and Processors" December 1962 view details
          in [ACM] CACM 6(03) (Mar 1963) view details
  • Goldstein, M. "Computer Languages" The American Mathematical Monthly, Vol. 72, No. 2, Part 2: Computers and Computing Feb., 1965 pp141-146 view details Extract: Languages scene
    An important step in artificial language development centered around the
    idea that i t is desirable to be able to exchange computer programs between
    different computer labs or at least between programmers on a universal level.
    In 1958, after much work, a committee representing an active European computer
    organization, GAMM, and a United States computer organization, ACNI,
    published a report (updated two years later) on an algebraic language called
    ALGOL. The language was designed to be a vehicle for expressing the processes
    of scientific and engineering calculations of numerical analysis. Equal stress was
    placed on man-to-man and man-to-machine communication. It attempts to
    specify a language which included those features of algebraic languages on
    which it was reasonable to expect a wide range of agreement, and to obtain a
    language that is technically sound. In this respect, ALGOL Set an important
    precedent in language definition by presenting a rigorous definition of its syntax.
    ALGOL compilers have also been written for many different computers.
    It is very popular among university and mathematically oriented computer
    people especially in Western Europe. For some time in the United States, it will
    remain second to FORTRAN, with FORTRAN becoming more and more like
    The largest user of data-processing equipment is the United States Government.
    Prodded in Part by a recognition of the tremendous programming investment
    and in part by the suggestion that a common language would result only
    if an active Sponsor supported it, the Defense Department brought together
    representatives of the major manufacturers and Users of data-processing equipment
    to discuss the problems associated with the lack of standard programming
    languages in the data processing area. This was the start of the conference on
    Data Systems Languages that went on to produce COBOL, the common business-
    oriented language. COBOL is a subset of normal English suitable for expressing
    the solution to business data processing problems. The language is
    now implemented in various forms on every commercial computer.
    In addition to popular languages like FORTRAN and ALGOL, we have
    some languages used perhaps by only one computing group such as FLOCO,
    IVY, MADCAP and COLASL; languages intended for student problems, a
    sophisticated one like MAD, others like BALGOL, CORC, PUFFT and various
    versions of university implemented ALGOL compilers; business languages in addition
    to COBOL like FACT, COMTRAN and UNICODE; assembly (machine)
    languages for every computer such as FAP, TAC, USE, COMPASS; languages to simplify problem solving in "artificial intelligence," such as the so-called list
    processing languages IPL V, LISP 1.5, SLIP and a more recent one NU SPEAK;
    string manipulation languages to simplify the manipulation of symbols rather
    than numeric data like COMIT, SHADOW and SNOBOL; languages for
    command and control problems like JOVIAL and NELIAC; languages to simplify
    doing symbolic algebra by computer such as ALPAK and FORMAC;
    a proposed new programming language tentatively titled NPL; and many,
    many, more. A veritable tower of BABEL!
          in [ACM] CACM 6(03) (Mar 1963) view details
  • Stock, Karl F. "A listing of some programming languages and their users" in RZ-Informationen. Graz: Rechenzentrum Graz 1971 274 view details Abstract: 321 Programmiersprachen mit Angabe der Computer-Hersteller, auf deren Anlagen die entsprechenden Sprachen verwendet werden kennen. Register der 74 Computer-Firmen; Reihenfolge der Programmiersprachen nach der Anzahl der Herstellerfirmen, auf deren Anlagen die Sprache implementiert ist; Reihenfolge der Herstellerfirmen nach der Anzahl der verwendeten Programmiersprachen.

    [321 programming languages with indication of the computer manufacturers, on whose machinery the appropriate languages are used to know.  Register of the 74 computer companies;  Sequence of the programming languages after the number of manufacturing firms, on whose plants the language is implemented;  Sequence of the manufacturing firms after the number of used programming languages.]
          in [ACM] CACM 6(03) (Mar 1963) view details
  • Sammet, Jean E., "Programming languages: history and future" view details
          in [ACM] CACM 15(06) (June 1972) view details
  • Maynard, MM "USE" Article in Ralston, A and Meek, C "A Encyclopedia of Computer Science" Petrocelli/Charter New York, NY 1976 view details Extract: USE and the USE compiler
    In December 1955, four prospective users of UNIVAC 1103A computers and company representatives met in Los Angeles to organize the user's group for large-scale UNIVAC scientific computers, UNIVAC Scientific Exchange, or USE. Over the succeeding three months, policies and objectives were established and three committees were formed: Standards, Programming, and Publications.

    These committees soon achieved a number of significant accomplishments. These included development of a language for communications, known as the USE language; the development of standard formats for coding routines and subroutines; and the definition of a minimum USE 1103A.

    Probably the most significant undertaking of the group was the production of a compiler known as the USE compiler. This was in fact an assembler with advanced characteristics for the period in which it was produced. It was used successfully for several years.
          in [ACM] CACM 15(06) (June 1972) view details