[TUHS] Book Recommendation

Thomas Paulsen thomas.paulsen at firemail.de
Wed Nov 24 07:54:26 AEST 2021


I remember that PL-1 was regarded in the 70-80ths as a superior programming language, incorporating the best concepts of the languages Mary enumerated. There even was a PL-1 inspired SPL language by siemens for the bs2000 mainframe os including bit fields etc. for system programming like C. Large parts of the start-amadeus ticketing-software were written in SPL. Thus PL-1 and its derivates were very high-ranked in the 70ths and 80ths, regarded as the ultimate ratio of the programming languages by many mainframe experts in those days.
I mean we are now entering the mainframe horizon, totally different to our UNIX and C mini computer, workstation and PC world we all are firm with.

PL/I was my favorite mainframe programming language my last two years as

an undergrad. I liked how it incorporated ideas from FORTRAN, ALGOL, and

COBOL. My student job was to enhance a PL/I package for a History professor.

As a grad student in 1976, my first job as a TA was to teach PL/I to 
undergrads. There were a lot of business students in the class. We 
thought PL/I was likely to be the future of business programming, as a 
better alternative to COBOL.

I was turned on to V6 UNIX and C in 1977, and I forgot all about PL/I.

     Mary Ann

On 11/16/2021 6:57 AM, Douglas McIlroy wrote:
> The following remark stirred old memories. Apologies for straying off

> the path of TUHS.
>> I have gotten the impression that [PL/I] was a language that was
beloved by no one.
> As I was a designer of PL/I, an implementer of EPL (the preliminary

> PL/I compiler used to build Multics), and author of the first PL/I
> program to appear in the ACM Collected Algorithms, it's a bit hard
> admit that PL/I was "insignificant". I'm proud, though, of
> conceived the SIGNAL statement, which pioneered exception handling,

> and the USES and SETS attributes, which unfortunately sank into
> oblivion. I also spurred Bud Lawson to invent -> for pointer-chasing.

> The former notation C(B(A)) became A->B->C. This was PL/I's gift
to C.
> After the ACM program I never wrote another line of PL/I.
> Gratification finally came forty years on when I met a retired
> programmer who, unaware of my PL/I connection, volunteered that she

> had loved PL/I above all other programming languages.
> Doug

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