Larry McVoy lm at mcvoy.com
Tue Aug 9 23:56:31 AEST 2022

On Tue, Aug 09, 2022 at 04:11:38PM +1000, Rob Pike wrote:
> We're probably well off topic now but...
> Many years ago I ran into Bob Dewar on a visit to Cambridge University and
> we got to talking. He said that the original implementation of SPITBOL, for
> the System/360, was in assembler (of course), and written by him and
> Belcher (?). The story he told was that they wrote it all down first, put
> it on punch cards, and sent it to the IBM machine. The next day they got
> back a listing with a bunch of errors. They iterated. By the fourth
> round???fifth day???they had a working SPITBOL.
> I still marvel at the productivity and precision of his generation of
> programmers.

I had the same reaction to pic(1).  You could look at the code and "see"
what it was doing.  I've always believed that pic was so well designed
because it took a day to get the print out (back then), so you had to
have a language where you could see what it was doing.

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