Re: The History of the ALGOL Effort

HT de Beer <H.T.de.Beer@gmail.com>
18 Aug 2006 00:57:52 -0400

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The History of the ALGOL Effort H.T.de.Beer@gmail.com (HT de Beer) (2006-08-14)
Re: The History of the ALGOL Effort gah@ugcs.caltech.edu (glen herrmannsfeldt) (2006-08-15)
Re: The History of the ALGOL Effort H.T.de.Beer@gmail.com (HT de Beer) (2006-08-18)
Re: The History of the ALGOL Effort Juergen.Kahrs@vr-web.de (=?ISO-8859-1?Q?J=FCrgen_Kahrs?=) (2006-08-18)
Re: The History of the ALGOL Effort H.T.de.Beer@gmail.com (HT de Beer) (2006-08-18)
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From: HT de Beer <H.T.de.Beer@gmail.com>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 18 Aug 2006 00:57:52 -0400
Organization: de Beer
References: 06-08-082 06-08-086
Keywords: algol60, history

glen herrmannsfeldt wrote:
>> this month I have completed my Master thesis in Computer Science and
>> Engineering about the history of the ALGOL effort.
>
> Any comments on ALGOL W? Does it fit into your history?


Not really, Wirth implemented this language more or less after he quits
Working Group 2.1 of IFIP responsible for ALGOL. This ALGOL W was an
implementation of Wirth and Hoare's `A contribution to the development of
ALGOL' (Comm. of ACM no. 6 1966, 413--432) that itself was based on Wirth's
earlier Euler language combined with Hoare's proposal for records. Wirth
and Hoare's proposal was a language that could become ALGOL 66, that is, it
was the language they wanted at that moment.


In the subcommittee working on a complete proposal for the new ALGOL
(consisting of WIrth, Hoare, van Wijngaarden, and Seegmüller) it was
decided that the new language would be defined in the notation defined by
van Wijngaarden (the vW-grammar). Although it was felt that Wirth and
Hoare's proposal (what would become ALGOL W) was more or less the right
language, it was not defined in the right notation. For some reason, the
language was never defined in the right notation and ALGOL 68 was developed
instead.


In September 1966 Wirth reported in the ALGOL Bulletin that he was
implementing this language (that would be known as ALGOL W) on an IBM 360
at Stanford (AB 24, 1966, 13--17). There is one source on ALGOL W that I
know of:
ftp://reports.stanford.edu/pub/cstr/reports/cs/tr/68/89/CS-TR-68-89.pdf .


> I have for a while been trying to track down the ALGOL W compiler
> that Wirth wrote for S/360 some years ago at Stanford.
>
> As far as I can tell, it is now lost, but I keep asking just in case.


Unfortunately I can not really be of any help here than what I have said
already.


--
HT de Beer
H.T.de.Beer@gmail.com
.



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