[TUHS] where did "main" come from?

Lawrence Stewart stewart at serissa.com
Sat May 23 04:43:40 AEST 2020

C main programs define “main”.
This also seems to be true of B main programs, according to the Johnson/Kernighan manual
The 1967 Martin Richards BCPL manual doesn’t explain how programs get started
The 1974 update from Martin Richards says there should be an OS addendum that explains this.
The 1974 University of Essex BCPL manual says to use START
The 1979 Parc Alto BCPL manual uses Main and I think that must be unchanged from 1972.
The AMSTRAD BCPL guide from 1986 uses start()

So who started “main” and when?  I can’t find an online copy of the Bell Laboratories BCPL manual (Canaday/Thompson) from 1969 or anything about how to use BCPL on Multics or CTSS.


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