ACM Turing Award Lectures : The First Twenty Years : 1966 to by Susan Graham and Robert Ashenhurst (Edited and Introduction

By Susan Graham and Robert Ashenhurst (Edited and Introduction by)

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Extra info for ACM Turing Award Lectures : The First Twenty Years : 1966 to 1985 (ACM Press Anthology Series)

Sample text

A natural technique to employ in the use of definitions is to start with a language X, consider the definitions as enlarging the syntax to that of a language X' and give the evaluation rules as a reduction process which reduces any text in X' to an equivalent one in X. It should be remarked that the variation of the syntax requires a representation of the syntax, preferably as a data structure of X itself. Conclusion Programming languages are built around the variable-its operations, control and data structures.

DIJKSTRA sooner we can forget that FORTRAN ever existed, the better, for as a vehicle of thought it is no longer adequate: it wastes our brainpower, and it is too risky and therefore too expensive to use. FORTRAN's tragic fate has been its wide acceptance, mentally chaining thousands and thousands of programmers to our past mistakes. I pray daily that more of my fellow-programmers may find the means of freeing themselves from the curse of compatibility. The third project I would not like to leave unmentioned is LISP, a fascinating enterprise of a completely different nature.

Such a syntax, if chosen to be close to machine code, can then be evaluated by rules which are very much like those of a machine. While I have spoken glibly about variability attached to the identifiers of the language, I have said nothing about the variability of control. We do not really have a way of describing control, so we cannot declare its regimes. We should expect our successor to have the kinds of control that ALc0IL has-and more. Parallel operation is one kind of control about which much study is being done.

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