[TUHS] PL/I stuff - was: Book Recommendation

Nelson H. F. Beebe beebe at math.utah.edu
Thu Nov 25 11:48:17 AEST 2021

Will Senn asks on Wed, 24 Nov 2021 16:29:27 -0600:

>> What, if any, features does PL/I have that are not realized 
>> in a modern language?

One that I exploited heavily was the "ON ENDPAGE" trap: I wrote code
that we used from both PL/I and Fortran to attach running page
headers/footers, with a job name, timestamp, and page number.  This
mattered to us a lot when our nightly outputs sometimes ran to a box
of z-fold paper (1K or 2K sheet? my memory is hazy).

In Unix, of course, we would just run

	myprog | pr > myprog.lst

but IBM mainframes of the 1960s and 1970s did not have anything
remotely like that at academic customer sites.

Alas, all of my PL/I code archives were lost to a dumpster some 30
years ago: we lacked the disk space to make copies of a couple of
thousand 9-track tapes, and with the retirement of our DEC mainframes,
we no longer had 9-track tape drives to read the tapes.  I have long
regretted our action, but budgets, and the limited technology of the
time, gave us no option.

- Nelson H. F. Beebe                    Tel: +1 801 581 5254                  -
- University of Utah                    FAX: +1 801 581 4148                  -
- Department of Mathematics, 110 LCB    Internet e-mail: beebe at math.utah.edu  -
- 155 S 1400 E RM 233                       beebe at acm.org  beebe at computer.org -
- Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0090, USA    URL: http://www.math.utah.edu/~beebe/ -

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