Re: First language with conditional assignment?

compilers@is-not-my.name
Mon, 07 Mar 2011 09:39:03 -0000

          From comp.compilers

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From: compilers@is-not-my.name
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: Mon, 07 Mar 2011 09:39:03 -0000
Organization: Compilers Central
References: 11-03-014
Keywords: syntax, history

> >Does anyone know what the earliest languages supporting conditional
> >assignment were?
>
> There's Algol from c. 1960, with things like:
>
> a := if e > f then b else c;
>
> As for me, I don't like conditional assignments,
> much preferring the traditional form --
>
> if e > f then a := b else a := c;


I agree at least *now* in the 21st century the 2nd form is more
readable. It could be in 1960 since there was nothing to compare it to
the first form would have been acceptable. I mean it *must* have been
acceptable, by definition ;) Anyway I think the example you gave was a
high point of program language development. Before then I don't know
if there was such a construct in any HLL. But many of you guys have
been around longer than I have, maybe I'm wrong. Thanks for your post.
[Anything you're used to seems "natural", anything you're not used to
seems wacky. I rather like the Algol form, but then, I programmed in
BLISS before I programmed in C.


This is drifting away from anything related to compiler design,
so I'm going to wind it down. -John]



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