ACT III ALGEBRAIC(ID:2958/act009)
Algebraic compiler for the LGP-300
Algebraic compiler for the LGP-300
[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.]
The exact number of all the programming languages still in use, and those which are no longer used, is unknown. Zemanek calls the abundance of programming languages and their many dialects a "language Babel". When a new programming language is developed, only its name is known at first and it takes a while before publications about it appear. For some languages, the only relevant literature stays inside the individual companies; some are reported on in papers and magazines; and only a few, such as ALGOL, BASIC, COBOL, FORTRAN, and PL/1, become known to a wider public through various text- and handbooks. The situation surrounding the application of these languages in many computer centers is a similar one.
There are differing opinions on the concept "programming languages". What is called a programming language by some may be termed a program, a processor, or a generator by others. Since there are no sharp borderlines in the field of programming languages, works were considered here which deal with machine languages, assemblers, autocoders, syntax and compilers, processors and generators, as well as with general higher programming languages.
The bibliography contains some 2,700 titles of books, magazines and essays for around 300 programming languages. However, as shown by the "Overview of Existing Programming Languages", there are more than 300 such languages. The "Overview" lists a total of 676 programming languages, but this is certainly incomplete. One author ' has already announced the "next 700 programming languages"; it is to be hoped the many users may be spared such a great variety for reasons of compatibility. The graphic representations (illustrations 1 & 2) show the development and proportion of the most widely-used programming languages, as measured by the number of publications listed here and by the number of computer manufacturers and software firms who have implemented the language in question. The illustrations show FORTRAN to be in the lead at the present time. PL/1 is advancing rapidly, although PL/1 compilers are not yet seen very often outside of IBM.
Some experts believe PL/1 will replace even the widely-used languages such as FORTRAN, COBOL, and ALGOL.4) If this does occur, it will surely take some time - as shown by the chronological diagram (illustration 2) .
It would be desirable from the user's point of view to reduce this language confusion down to the most advantageous languages. Those languages still maintained should incorporate the special facets and advantages of the otherwise superfluous languages. Obviously such demands are not in the interests of computer production firms, especially when one considers that a FORTRAN program can be executed on nearly all third-generation computers.
The titles in this bibliography are organized alphabetically according to programming language, and within a language chronologically and again alphabetically within a given year. Preceding the first programming language in the alphabet, literature is listed on several languages, as are general papers on programming languages and on the theory of formal languages (AAA).
As far as possible, the most of titles are based on autopsy. However, the bibliographical description of sone titles will not satisfy bibliography-documentation demands, since they are based on inaccurate information in various sources. Translation titles whose original titles could not be found through bibliographical research were not included. ' In view of the fact that nany libraries do not have the quoted papers, all magazine essays should have been listed with the volume, the year, issue number and the complete number of pages (e.g. pp. 721-783), so that interlibrary loans could take place with fast reader service. Unfortunately, these data were not always found.
It is hoped that this bibliography will help the electronic data processing expert, and those who wish to select the appropriate programming language from the many available, to find a way through the language Babel.
We wish to offer special thanks to Mr. Klaus G. Saur and the staff of Verlag Dokumentation for their publishing work.
Graz / Austria, May, 1973
During this entire period, internal rivalry was growing between the communications and computer people at Fort Monmouth. The communications faction was wedded to teletype and felt that computers were a temporary fad. They thus attempted to redirect any computer I/O funding for use on teletype equipment. While Luebbert managed both computer and communications R&D, he was able to control this to some degree. He did not have an entirely free hand on how the funds should be spent, however, or what programs would receive emphasis.
Though he felt that more should be done both with I/O equipment and programming, he was unable to get enough funds for either more I/O development work or for programming. Bill chose to emphasize programming with the limited additional funds he was allowed (Luebbert 1985) a number of programming development; contracts were let to Sylvania for basic software which included an assembler, some mathematical routines, and a set of utility programs. Development of a COBOL compiler was started in 1959 (Sammet 1985; USASRDL undated), but Sylvania did this work on its own without army funding.
The Signal Corps also supported work on the systems and programming concepts for the Fieldata family of computers at the Moore School of the University of Pennsylvania. The six task areas involved systems, human factors, data transmission, common languages, new devices, and codes. The common language effort, led by Saul Gorn, focused on the feasibility of standardized coding methods for families of computers (Sammet 1985; Gorn and Parker 1960). As part of this effort, the Automatic Code Translation System (ACT) addressed the problems of writing programs that could be compiled and executed on families of different computers (Holt and Turanski 1960a).
A basic tenet of Fieldata was the need for any type of problem to be run on almost any one of the machines. The farsighted nature of the ACT work is best indicated by the statement in their final report (Holt et al. 1960b): "that the overwhelming majority of Army personnel concerned with these problems will not be computer programming experts . . . and that the efficiency of the entire Fieldata system hinges primarily on the speed of problem solution -- i.e., the total "lapsed time" from problem statement till solution delivery."
The people who worked primarily on ACT were Anatol W. Holt, William J. Turanski, and E. J. Parker and they envisioned a system of three parts. The first was an allocation interpreter that coordinated a family of small stored subprograms. The second was a library of basic translation functions, and the third was a general translation library with content that varied depending on the application.
Various other results of this University of Pennsylvania work were the development of techniques for detailed two-dimensional microflowcharting of machine instructions, significant theoretical work on formal languages by Gorn, exploration of optimizing techniques for information retrieval using list processing, and human factors studies of computer console design.
The Signal Corps contract at the Carnegie Institute of Technology was under the leadership of Alan Perlis (Perks 1961). It concentrated on the general area of programming languages and translators and produced, for example, the concept of the threaded list.
in Annals of the History of Computing, Spring 1987 view details