[TUHS] Happy birthday, John Backus!

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Wed Dec 5 02:53:29 AEST 2018

On Tue, Dec 4, 2018 at 11:34 AM Tim Rylance <tuhs at tkr.bondplaza.com> wrote:

> The Fortran H compiler was mostly written in Fortran: 27,415 lines of
> Fortran and 16,721 lines of assembler according to slide 12 of [1].
Thanks for the pointer.      As Doug points out, Burrough's ESPOL started
the transition in the early 60s, but it took awhile for it to be something
that was done 100% of time by everyone.  The mid-70s is clearly the
transistion time - as you point out [2/3 self hosting, 1/3 assembler].    I
wonder what part was which?

Wirth wrote PL/360 to create Algol-W in the late 60s.   But York/APL (and I
believe APL/360) which were the same timeframe, were assembler [I hacked on
the former on TSS in the early/mid 70s].

The first DEC compilers for the 360 bit and 12 bit lines were written in
assembler, but they switched to BLISS (and some other languages for
different front-ends) by the 70s for the newer generations of compilers.
 Paul can give that history as he was part of it.

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