[TUHS] A New History of Modern Computing - my thoughts

arnold at skeeve.com arnold at skeeve.com
Mon Nov 29 17:46:56 AEST 2021

Bakul Shah <bakul at iitbombay.org> wrote:
> Was B, or rather BCPL, influenced by Algol68? It too had
> 	<var> <op>:= <value>
> as a shorthand for
> 	<var> := <var> op <value>
> Its declaration
> 	<type> <name>
> is the same as in C. Though in A68 this was a shorthand for
> 	ref <type> <name> = loc <type>

I don't know if it was purposeful or not, but Algol 68 had the notion
of deproceduring - i.e. function call, which seems to have carried over
into C where the name of function is a pointer to it. You can do

	void myproc();
	void (*functptr) = myproc;

to call through the pointer.  (Even though the K&R book taught us
to use (*funcptr)(), the syntax above worked at least as far back
as PCC.)

Did C pick this up from Algol 68? I have no idea, but it would not
surprise me if it had.


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