Re: What is PL/Z? (Debora Weber-Wulff)
Mon, 30 Jan 1995 08:58:34 GMT

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Newsgroups: comp.compilers
From: (Debora Weber-Wulff)
Keywords: summary
Organization: TFH-Berlin (Berlin, Germany)
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 1995 08:58:34 GMT

Thanks to all who wrote about PLZ! Y'all are wonderful!

Here's a summary of the answers:

A version of PL/M for the Z80
A version of PL/1 for the 8080 developed at Intel
CP/M was originally written in PL/Z
PL/Z is a family of implementation languages developed by Zilog for
the Z80 micorprocessor. There are two flavors of PL/Z:
    - PL/Z ASM is used to wrap up raw assemlby language code inside of
        Pascal-like control structures
    - PL/Z SYS is more of a high level implementation language (sort of
        a Zilog counterpart to Intel's PL/M language.
IEEE Computer has some articles on PL/Z and PL/M in the late 70s.
"Report on the Programming Language PLZ/SYS" by Ted Snook of
Zilog Inc. (and others). Springer-Verlag, 1978. ISBN 0-387-90374-7

Quote from the back cover submitted by Tim Corringham:
" PLZ/SYS was designed in 1977 by Zilog Corporation to serve as the
    primary implementation language for system programs for microcomputers.
    This high-level, procedure-oriented language is a synthesis of concepts
    from contemporary programming languages, most closely related to
    Pascal, but tailored for a concise and efficient implementation for
    microcomputer application areas.
    As a member of the PLZ family of syntactically similar and object code
    compatible languages, PLZ/SYS provides a machine-independent language
    translation facility for modules of a program that can be combined
    with modules written in any PLZ language, such as the PLZ/ASM structured
    assembly language for various microprocessors."

Tim adds: "I haven't used my copy since 1979, and don't intend to again!"

"It is a remarkable language mainly for its lack of
punctuation characters in just about all contexts the
comma and semi-colon are optional. The ideas are modeled
after Pascal, but the syntax minimizes punctuation"
- Tom Moog
PL/Z written by Charlie Bass
"From what I can remember back form the old days in Europe (from former
Yugoslavia) PL/Z does not exist. There was a language caled PL/2 that
was extensively used in Slovenija and most of the compilers were
designed for old Iskra Delta or Triglav system which were basically a
CP/M boxes that suported some basic terminals and network structure.
The whole project pretty much died in 1984-1986 when PCs became widely
used in that area of the world. Nowadays as far as I know Iskra still
exists and is producing TV sets. To get back to the PL/2 and Iskra Delta
machine which was basicaly imposible to work on I should tell you that
processor used was old Z80 and the whole system had 512 KB of RAM keep
in mind that this was split among 6 users which each took 64 KB just by
starting the editor now if one of them would decide to compile he better
had made sure that no one else was compiling because if two people would
try to compile system would simply die and all users would loose
whatever they had." - Dusan Bonifacic
Debora Weber-Wulff (Professorin fuer Softwaretechnik und Programmiersprachen)
Technische Fachhochschule Berlin, FB Informatik, Luxemburger Str. 10,
13353 Berlin, Germany email:

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