Early Programming Books
pbirkel at gmail.com
Sun Jun 20 07:39:32 CDT 2021
I'm much more curious about programming books that were *not* machine
That is, about "general principles" of designing/preparing software for
Of course, one needs a language; McCracken (1957) defines TYDAC.
Much later (1968) Knuth defines MIX.
In between perhaps one could argue that ALGOL 58 qualifies as such a
language-for-demonstration, but I don't believe that there were any books
specifically about programming in ALGOL 58. I presume that there were
eventually such books for ALGOL 60.
Then there's FORTRAN, in which context I first encountered McCracken (1961:
Guide to FORTRAN Programming).
Obviously my first example was EDSAC-centric. And yours is specific to the
From: dave.g4ugm at gmail.com [mailto:dave.g4ugm at gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, June 20, 2021 6:57 AM
To: 'Paul Birkel'; 'General Discussion: On-Topic Posts'
Subject: RE: Early Programming Books
What about machine specific manuals, so for example the Manchester MK1
programming manual, the second edition of which is archived here:-
In fact I expect that first book refers specifically to EDSAC, so is in
effect machine specific. There must have been similar manuals for other
I know there is a Ferranti Pegasus Programming manual, the copy I have is
dated 1962 but as the last Pegasus was produced in 1959 there must have been
> -----Original Message-----
> From: cctech <cctech-bounces at classiccmp.org> On Behalf Of Paul Birkel via
> Sent: 20 June 2021 09:44
> To: 'General Discussion: On-Topic Posts' <cctech at classiccmp.org>
> Subject: Early Programming Books
> I know of two early computer (in the stored program sense) programming
> 1951: Preparation of Programs for an Electronic Digital Computer
(Wilkes, Wheeler, & Gill)
> 1957: Digital Computer Programming (McCracken)
> What others were published prior to the McCracken text?
> Excluded are lecture compendia and symposia proceedings, such as:
> 1946: Moore School Lectures
> 1947: Proceedings of a Symposium on Large-Scale Digital Calculating
> 1951: Proceedings of a Second Symposium on Large-Scale Digital
> 1953: Faster Than Thought, A Symposium On Digital Computing Machines
> These were principally about designs for, and experience with, new
> I'm curious about texts specifically focused on the act of programming.
> Were there others prior to McCracken?
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