[TUHS] In Memoriam: Per Brinch Hansen

Wesley Parish wobblygong at gmail.com
Tue Jul 31 17:25:27 AEST 2018

I've got his Operating System Principles  and The Architecture of
Concurrent Programs. I've seen his Programming a Personal Computer -
about the Edison dialect of Pascal as a systems programming language,
an offshoot of Concurrent Pascal, iirc.

I'm slightly amused by his statement published in the Wikipedia
article on him, :

"There, his first significant project was writing a parser for a COBOL
compiler for the Siemens 3003 computer. Subsequently, he wrote a file
system to be used during execution of the compiled COBOL programs,
later observing "I now understand that it was really a small operating
system, I had programmed. However, in the mid 1960s, the dividing line
between language implementation and operating systems was still not
clearly understood."[ "

Which is quite an understatement - it is probably one of the reasons
why Prof Lions considered Solo unsuitable as a general purpose OS for
students to work with and work on. It would not be impossible to
develop a non-Pascal-based OS on the Concurrent Pascal microkernel,
but I don't get the impression that he had planned for it.

http://pascal.hansotten.com/per-brinch-hansen/ is a good site about him.

Wesley Parish

On 7/31/18, Toby Thain <toby at telegraphics.com.au> wrote:
> On 2018-07-30 8:40 PM, Dave Horsfall wrote:
>> [ I've always posted these to TUHS with no objections, so I have no idea
>> whether COFF would be a better forum; feel free to spank me (I might
>> even enjoy it!) ]
>> We lost Per Brinch Hansen, a computer scientist, on this day in 2007.
>> He specialised in operating systems and concurrent programming, and
>> wrote the classic book "Operating System Principles" which was published
>> in six languages for decades.  He also wrote another book "The
>> Architecture of Concurrent Programs" which demonstrated an entire
>> operating system written in Concurrent Pascal (much like the Lions'
>> books on Unix).
> His anthology "Classic Operating Systems" is also an informative read
> and I think can be found online.
> --Toby
>> -- Dave

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