Languages from Hell (Jeff Zurkow)
Mon, 26 Sep 1994 22:51:32 GMT

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Newsgroups: comp.compilers
From: (Jeff Zurkow)
Keywords: history, comment
Organization: Channel 1(R) 617-864-0100 Info
References: 94-09-076
Date: Mon, 26 Sep 1994 22:51:32 GMT

>Preference will be given to languages spoken of only in horrified

The ultimate horror: IBM's JCL. In "Computer Lib" (1974, revised 1987)
Ted Nelson comments:

Some Call It Despicable.
Some Call It Home.

>...1401 Autocoder

Despite the name, Autocoder was just an assembler.

>How about Magic/L? It's an incrementally compiled/interpreted language
>that combines the worst features of every language and adds a couple of
>it own.

If I remember correctly, Magic/L (pronounced "Magical") was Arnold
Epstein's attempt to make Forth look like language rather than a
religion. It was probably derived from STOIC, a public-domain derivative
of Forth written by Jonathan Sachs at the Harvard/MIT biomedical
enginerring laboratory. Jonathan, incidentally, went on to write Lotus 1

I think I've got a Magic/L manual (hardcopy) around, if GLS is
interested. But I'm not sure that syntax-free languages (ie. Forth
derivatives) are really candidates for retro-compilers in the same sense
as Algol, MAD, etc.

Jeffrey Zurkow
[Autocoder may have been an assembler, but that didn't prevent a lot of
vendors from selling autocoder-to-Cobol translators. -John]

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