Linux and the 'clssic' computing world

Jay Jaeger cube1 at
Tue Sep 28 17:03:51 CDT 2021

On 9/28/2021 2:15 PM, ben via cctalk wrote:
> On 2021-09-28 11:43 a.m., Vincent Long standing via cctalk wrote:
>> The C standards are more liberal, and continue to require char types 
>> to be 8 or more bits.
> Was PL/I the only language that would let you select data size for 
> variables? Of course the fine print would not let you have more than 16
> decimal digits, or 32 bit binary. You would think by now that a language
> could handle any length data.


FORTRAN:  INTEGER*4 INTEGER*8 (and sometimes INTEGER*2 - e.g. Sun 
FORTRAN-77)  was common, though never adopted as a standard.  Also REAL 

COBOL: COMP-1 and COMP-2 for floating point: single and double precision.

Pascal, Ada: specified range of values.  How that actually got 
implemented would be implementation dependent.

And more, I'm sure.

As for any length of data, that becomes a cost/return question.  Adding 
that capability would create no end of headaches for language 
implementation, so it isn't done.  Instead, if one actually needed that, 
one would define a type (with methods) or a set of functions to 
accomplish that - and no doubt many exist out on the 'net.

>>      Vince
> Ben.


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