Re: language design after Algol 60, was Add nested-function support

Martin Ward <martin@gkc.org.uk>
Fri, 13 Apr 2018 14:10:15 +0100

          From comp.compilers

Related articles
[18 earlier articles]
Re: language design after Algol 60, was Add nested-function support bc@freeuk.com (bartc) (2018-04-12)
Re: language design after Algol 60, was Add nested-function support rpw3@rpw3.org (2018-04-12)
Re: language design after Algol 60, was Add nested-function support bc@freeuk.com (bartc) (2018-04-12)
Re: language design after Algol 60, was Add nested-function support gneuner2@comcast.net (George Neuner) (2018-04-12)
Re: language design after Algol 60, was Add nested-function support gneuner2@comcast.net (George Neuner) (2018-04-12)
Re: language design after Algol 60, was Add nested-function support martin@gkc.org.uk (Martin Ward) (2018-04-13)
Re: language design after Algol 60, was Add nested-function support martin@gkc.org.uk (Martin Ward) (2018-04-13)
Re: language design after Algol 60 robin51@dodo.com.au (Robin Vowels) (2018-04-14)
RE: language design after Algol 60 costello@mitre.org (Costello, Roger L.) (2018-04-16)
Re: language design after Algol 60 robin51@dodo.com.au (Robin Vowels) (2018-04-17)
Re: Language design after Algol 60 robin51@dodo.com.au (Robin Vowels) (2018-04-18)
Re: language design after Algol 60 genew@telus.net (Gene Wirchenko) (2018-04-18)
| List of all articles for this month |

From: Martin Ward <martin@gkc.org.uk>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2018 14:10:15 +0100
Organization: Compilers Central
References: <49854345-f940-e82a-5c35-35078c4189d5@gkc.org.uk> 18-03-103 18-03-042 18-03-047 18-03-075 18-03-079 18-03-101 18-04-002 18-04-003 18-04-004 18-04-024 18-04-034 18-04-041 18-04-046 18-04-050
Injection-Info: gal.iecc.com; posting-host="news.iecc.com:2001:470:1f07:1126:0:676f:7373:6970"; logging-data="625"; mail-complaints-to="abuse@iecc.com"
Keywords: history, PL/I
Posted-Date: 13 Apr 2018 13:22:45 EDT

> [Syntax is free in the compiler but not necessarily in the brains of
> the programmers. Back when I was writing PL/I programs, people said
> my code was unreadable because I'd learned PL/I from the reference
> manual, while everyone else learned it from books like "PL/I for
> Fortran progammers" or "PL/I for commercial programmers." My code
> used what seemed reasonable to me but others found it a mishmosh of
> stuff they knew and stuff they didn't. -John]


The IBM Language Reference for Enterprise PL/I for z/OS is 862 pages.


E.W.Dijkstra wrote in his ACM Turing Lecture 1972:


"Finally, although the subject is not a pleasant one, I must
mention PL/1, a programming language for which the defining
documentation is of a frightening size and complexity.
Using PL/1 must be like flying a plane with 7000 buttons,
switches and handles to manipulate in the cockpit.
I absolutely fail to see how we can keep our growing programs
firmly within our intellectual grip when by its sheer baroqueness
the programming language -- our basic tool, mind you! -- already
escapes our intellectual control."


He concluded:


"We shall do a much better programming job, provided that we approach
the task with a full appreciation of its tremendous difficulty,
provided that we stick to modest and elegant programming languages,
provided that we respect the intrinsic limitations of the human mind
and approach the task as Very Humble Programmers."


--
Martin


Dr Martin Ward | Email: martin@gkc.org.uk | http://www.gkc.org.uk
G.K.Chesterton site: http://www.gkc.org.uk/gkc | Erdos number: 4
[It was PL/I F, for which the manual was much shorter. The ANSI
standard, on the other hand, was and is unreadable, page after page
of VDL. -John]



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