Early Programming Books
turing at shaw.ca
Sun Jun 20 09:26:27 CDT 2021
I have two books on ALGOL 60 from 1962 -
A Guide to ALGOL Programming, Daniel D. McCracken
A Primer Of ALGOL 60 Programming, E.W. Dijkstra
For APL, there is this from 1962 -
A Programming Language, Kenneth E. Iverson
However, I also have a reference from 1960 -
LISP I Programmer's Manual, J. McCarthy et al.
From: "General Discussion, On-Topic Posts Only" <cctech at classiccmp.org>
To: "Paul Birkel" <pbirkel at gmail.com>, "General Discussion, On-Topic Posts Only" <cctech at classiccmp.org>, "dave g4ugm" <dave.g4ugm at gmail.com>
Sent: Sunday, June 20, 2021 5:57:08 AM
Subject: Re: Early Programming Books
On 2021-06-20 1:39 p.m., Paul Birkel via cctech wrote:
> I'm much more curious about programming books that were *not* machine
> That is, about "general principles" of designing/preparing software for
Not sure if it's what you are looking for, but if you haven't, check out
"Classic Operating Systems" by Per Brinch Hansen.
> 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.
Pretty sure I own one, by Dijkstra. Will get details later if you are
> 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
> Manchester MK1.
> -----Original Message-----
> 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
> earlier editions.
>> -----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
> Calculating Machinery
>> 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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