[TUHS] Knuth and Pascal (was "Were cron and at ...")

Toby Thain toby at telegraphics.com.au
Tue Dec 15 23:04:21 AEST 2020

On 2020-12-15 6:45 a.m., M Douglas McIlroy wrote:
> Off topic, but too much fun to pass up.
>>> You wrote your algorithm in Pascal, debugged it, and then rewrote it in your favourite language (in my case, ALGOL-W).
>> Now why didn't Don Knuth think of that for TeX?

He did even more than that, inventing literate programming and tools for
it, so that he could write in a Pascal-like language enhanced according
to his preferences and beliefs about program exposition to humans.

Because the output of his tools was standard Pascal, Tex and METAFONT
were easily and widely ported.


> I'm glad he didn't. He might have written it in Mix. Knuth once said
> he didn't believe in higher-level languages. Of course he knew more
> about them than anybody else and was CACM's associate editor for the
> subject--like a minister who doesn't believe in God.
> Doug

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