Re: Cactus stack (C.J. Cheney)
Wed, 15 Nov 1995 18:52:08 GMT

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Newsgroups: comp.compilers
From: (C.J. Cheney)
Keywords: storage, parallel, history
Organization: University of Cambridge
References: 95-11-037 95-11-096
Date: Wed, 15 Nov 1995 18:52:08 GMT

>The earliest reference I know of is from the Simula67 language which used a
>statically organised cactus stack to handle its co-routines. But I expect the
>idea was around somewhat earlier. I'm not sure when the dynamically organised
>cactus stacks first appeared but Algol68 is predicated on them! M. Griffiths
>in the excellent book "Compiler Construction" (ed. Bauer and Eickel) describes
>a heap based implementation but there is no specific reference in the biblio.

The earliest description of the cactus stack that I have is the paper
by EA Hauck and BA Dent entitled Burroughs B6500/B7500 stack
mechanism (AFIPS Conference Procedings Vol 32 1968) where it is
referred to as the Saguaro stack (after the Saguaro cactus that
appeared in the favourite backdrops of the western films, sorry
movies, of that era). It is referred to as the cactus stack in JG
Cleary's paper Process Handling on Burroughs B6500 (Proc Fourth
Australian Computer Conference, 1969). Possibly also interesting is
the Burroughs B6500 Characteristics Manual which refers to the cactus
stack; the version that I have is marked as 'Copyright 1967, 1968,
1969' but, of course, I cannot tell whether the term 'cactus stack'
was used in the 1967 and 1968 printings.

I realise that the above references are all post 1967 (re Simula67)
and are hardware-related but I hope that they are of interest all the

BTW I have no connection with the Burroughs Corporation (as it was
then) other than via a friend who was an employee.

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