And speaking of ALGOL

Chuck Guzis cclist at
Tue Aug 11 10:24:51 CDT 2015

On 08/11/2015 07:52 AM, Paul Koning wrote:

> Yes, that was a pretty nice system.  Certainly not the first ALGOL
> system, but a decent one even though they did put a bunch of
> Fortran-like ugliness into the I/O.

As I recall, the I/O in the Algol-60 report was not particularly 
well-defined.  Pascal followed this pattern also.

So Burroughs could hardly be blamed.

> PDP11 DECUS ALGOL was clearly inspired by that, it’s a subset of
> Burroughs ALGOL and the generated code looks like a 16-bit variant of
> B5500 machine code.

I hadn't realized that descriptors had been implemented on the PDP-11.

> Note though that some of the discussion was about Algol 68, which is
> a rather different language.  I don’t know that Burroughs ever did
> anything with it, but some other companies did (CDC for one).

I don't know where Algol 68 in the CDC world came from; I am aware of no 
one in CPD Sunnyvale who worked on it.  Was it a VIM contribution?

> “native” in what sense?  There are plenty of machines, from many
> companies, that support block structured languages well.  The PDP11
> and VAX are among those, as are the Burroughs mainframes, the
> Electrologica EL-X8, and many others.  If so, they will do well at
> Algol, Pascal, C, Modula, Ada, and so on.

Well, CDC 6600 routinely beat out IBM's iron on COBOL, even without 
character addressability or the capability for decimal arithmetic.

> If you mean “native” in the sense of an instruction set tailored for
> running Algol programs, no — in that sense, Burroughs was rather
> unusual, though you might point at the Electrologica EL-X8 as another
> example.

That's exactly what I mean.


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