Early Programming Books

Paul Koning paulkoning at comcast.net
Tue Jun 22 14:44:56 CDT 2021

> On Jun 22, 2021, at 3:40 PM, ben via cctalk <cctalk at classiccmp.org> wrote:
> ...
> Lisp is evaluated, not compiled from what little I have read.
> If I could read the papers (for free) I could know more.
> Refal "Recursive functions algorithmic language" from Russia
> looks just what I was looking for. Around since 1966.
> Ben.

Any language can be interpreted or compiled.  For some languages, like LISP and TECO, interpreting is a rather natural implementation techniques, while for others (C, ALGOL) compilation is the obvious answer.  But either is possible.

For example, there is a compiled TECO -- it turns the editor commands into PDP-10 machine code and then executes it (Stevens TECO, if I remember right).

Of course there are implementations that are borderline between the two.  The common Python implementation is an example, with its bytecode that is interpreted.  Forth is partly bytecode and partly straight machine code.  The Electrologica ALGOL compilers used somewhat similar mixtures of pseudocode and machine code.  DEC's PDP-11 Fortran IV used bytecode, while Fortran IV-Plus uses machine code.  (Two compilers for the same machine, two different approaches.)


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