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xilman 2015-06-21 20:27

begin co Algol 68 co ; skip; co The computer language co end
Anyone else here knows how to write code in Algol 68?

Batalov 2015-06-21 20:48

I used to know it in 1980. But then again I could play oboe back then.

These days, all bets are off.

R.D. Silverman 2015-06-22 01:03

[QUOTE=xilman;404517]Anyone else here knows how to write code in Algol 68?[/QUOTE]

I did extensive work with it back in 1980-84. How many I help?

Xyzzy 2015-06-22 02:09

At least 366 sample programs here: [url][/url]

Nick 2015-06-22 08:07

Donald Knuth's original papers on the development of ALGOL 60 are available in a book (ISBN 9781575863825) and historically interesting. The same book contains his seminal papers "Top-Down Syntax Analysis" and "On the Translation of Languages from Left to Right" in which LL(k) and LR(k) parsing were first defined.

xilman 2015-06-22 08:34

[QUOTE=R.D. Silverman;404540]I did extensive work with it back in 1980-84. How many I help?[/QUOTE]
I'm trying to bring it back into more widespread use. It's a beautiful language that deserves much more than a display case in a museum.

A list of implementations is given on the Rosetta Code page [url][/url] and a very good implementation is Algol 68 Genie, which runs on most everything. and has excellent documentation. A new sub-version release is likely to come along soon because I've been working with the author by submitting bug reports and discussing usability enhancements.

There is a LinkedIn SIG for Algol 68, which is where I was first stimulated to start using the language again. I've also started the very first (AFAIK) GitHub project at [url][/url] and have contributed a few examples to the Rosetta Code repository.

(The GitHub stuff is incomplete and is primarily a vehicle for me to regain fluency in the language.)

R.D. Silverman 2015-06-22 12:19

[QUOTE=xilman;404567]I'm trying to bring it back into more widespread use. It's a beautiful language that deserves much more than a display case in a museum.

Absolutely. It is my favorite language. I was working on a very large (2 million LOC) application known as EPS: Econometric
Programming System. (for a company that was known then as Data Resources)

It was to economics and econometrics what Maple is to symbolic math.

It had a comprehensive internal modeling language, along with LP solvers/optimizers, time series analysis, a large array of economic
functions, Fourier tools, Gauss-Seidel for solving large non-linear systems,
access to what was then the worlds largest on-line economic data base, etc.

It was a single source file! (Algol assigns sequence numbers to its LOC). Every so often the source would be printed........
onto blue microfiche. It was read with a microfiche reader......

xilman 2015-06-22 13:49

[QUOTE=R.D. Silverman;404576]Absolutely. It is my favorite language.[/QUOTE]Mine too. It has an elegance that very few other languages show and yet, with a decent compiler, competitive in efficiency with Fortran or C and much better than some more recent and more popular languages.

I learned it while an undergraduate and used it for my doctorate research. After that it was unavailable on any systems I used until I discovered Algol 68 Genie.

A68g is nice for its "unlimited" arithmetic precision for its LONG LONG types and so it is easy to write CNT applications as long as they're not time critical. In the fullness of time, I may see about the use of GMP as an option for multi-precision arithmetic like Perl's bigint library choices. I submitted a first cut of [URL=""]an RSA demo[/URL] today, for instance.

If you're interested, and anyone else here too of course, we could start writing freeware in Algol 68.

xilman 2015-06-27 09:30

Several other Rosetta Code examples are now in place. Take a look at [URL=""]Call a foreign language function[/URL] for some particularly sick code.

One task, [URL=""]Hello world/Newline omission[/URL], can not be implemed at present in Algol 68 Genie. It will be in the next release because I've persuaded Marcel that calling [FONT="Courier New"]newline[/FONT] just before [FONT="Courier New"]stand out[/FONT] is closed is a mis-feature.

Several other bugs and mis-features in the interpreter and documentation have also been fed back to Marcel.

Brian Gladman 2015-07-05 11:29

It is great to see the interest in Algol68, which is also my favourite language. I was at Royal Signals and Radar Establishment (RSRE) in the UK at the time that Mike Foster, Ian Currie and Sue Bond were building compilers for the language and trying to pursuade ICL and other computer companies to offer commercial versions of them. Sadly we didn't succeed.

I did take a look at Algol 68 genie but I didn't do much with it as I have not had the time to see if it compiles with native WIndows compilers targetting x64 (I am not interested in obsolescent win32 versions or those built with *nix on Windows environments).

xilman 2015-07-06 12:37

Hi Brian,

I was >99% certain that you would also be a A68 fan given what I knew of your background. I urge you to try building Genie with a modern Win64 system. It's pretty likely that V 2.9 will be released in the relatively near future and now would be a good time to look for portability issues.

Are you a member of the LinkedIn group? That's where most of the discussion is going on.

My experience of A68 started with ICL systems but that was at Oxford University so perhaps not what you would call "commercial".


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