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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser


history of programming languages-ii

thomas j. bergin




finished the section on argol in my programming history book. it's described as a very pure, orthogonal (simple command set) language. had features ahead of its tme -- the closest thing i know is python, although even python can not, for example compare two infinite lists.

angol's time was the 1960's. now it is dead. several things killed it. lack of standard i/o functions were a problem. probably a bigger problem is that it was really hard to implement in compilers -- few full featured compilers were produced and it just didn't get very popular compared to fortran or cobol.

causes me to consider that languages exist along a spectrum of those that keep very close to the hardward -- assembly, of course. c. fast, easy to implement, and not very portable. and those that are abstract. perhaps easy to learn, but slower, and harder to write compilers for. argol was certainly the second.