[TUHS] Algol 68 and Unix (was cron and at ...)

Dr Iain Maoileoin iain at csp-partnership.co.uk
Fri Dec 18 07:18:33 AEST 2020

> On 17 Dec 2020, at 14:44, Mike Markowski <mike.ab3ap at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 12/17/20 9:21 AM, M Douglas McIlroy wrote:
>> ...My knowledge of A68 comes from reading the official definition back in
>> the day. It took effort to see the clarity of the design through the
>> fog of the description. Until more accessible descriptions came along
>> (which I admit to not having seen) it would have been a big barrier to
>> acceptance...
> By coincidence, fortune brought this up as I opened a terminal window:
> No proper program contains an indication which as an operator-applied occurrence identifies an operator-defining occurrence which as an indication-applied occurrence identifies an indication-defining occurrence different from the one identified by the given indication as an indication-applied occurrence.
> -- ALGOL 68 Report

Now that I understand ;-)  
> Yikes…
But that bit I dont! ;-(
> Mike

We we taught Algol 68 R, running it on an ICL 1904S from 1st year onwards.  The 1904 was a 24bit 6 bits per “byte” system.  Handling upper and lower on the line printer was a lot of work!

The mixture of language practical and theory helped cement both.  Unix did not come along - for the uni - until a year or so later.
A decent understanding of the Algol68 pointers, deref (auto or not), casts, array slices, garbage collection etc made moving to C fairly easy for most of the cohort.  

The fortune cooked has been a bad journalist and taken the sentence out of context.  The previous 423 pages were essential reading.

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