Problems with FORT and ALGOL in TSS/8
paulkoning at comcast.net
Fri Dec 4 09:17:26 CST 2020
> On Dec 4, 2020, at 12:38 AM, Josh Dersch via cctalk <cctalk at classiccmp.org> wrote:
> On Thu, Dec 3, 2020 at 6:13 PM Kevin Jordan via cctalk <
> cctalk at classiccmp.org> wrote:
>> The problem we're experiencing with ALGOL appears to be a glaring compiler
>> bug, but the compiler was distributed widely through DECUS, and it is
>> difficult to imagine that it would have been released with an obvious bug,
DECUS just distributed what it was given; there is no QA or review process. If the author submitted bad code, nothing DECUS would do would get in the way.
> .... We suspect that this compiler just has a lot of bugs.
> Note also that Appendix E (page E-1) suggests that ALL 'END' statements be
> followed by a ";". This seemed to help at least with getting the compiler
> to stop giving us errors. Note that despite this suggestion, the examples
> in Appendix E fail to follow this guideline.
That's certainly a pretty bizarre suggestion. It's legal code either way, but in ALGOL (and PASCAL) semicolon is a separator, NOT a terminator, and the suggestion makes it appear that the authors don't understand the language well enough to know this. That clearly isn't a recipe for a reliable compiler.
I thought ALGOL-11 (by Barry Folsom) was derived from ALGOL-8. Maybe that's a different ALGOL-8, or maybe I'm just confused. That ALGOL looks like a subset of Burroughs extended ALGOL.
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