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.