History of Programming Languages, Volume 2 / Edition 1

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This specially prepared work comprises a living archive of important programming languages, described by the people most instrumental in their creation and development. Drawn from the ACM/SIGPLAN Second History of Programming Languages Conference, this volume, like the earlier book from the first such conference (HOPL), conveys the motivations of the language designers, and the reasons why they rejected existing languages and created new ones. The book relates the processes by which different languages evolved, in the words of the individuals active in the languages' development. Most important, participants share insights about influences and decisions, both on choices made, and on the many roads not taken. In the book's conclusion, distinguished historians of computing share views about preserving programming language history.

Fourteen chapters cover a broad range of languages in wide use today, as well as lesser known languages that made significant contributions to programming language evolution: C, C++, Smalltalk, Pascal, Ada, Prolog, Lisp, ALGOL 68, FORMAC, CLU, Icon, Forth, Monitors and Concurrent Pascal, and Discrete Simulation Languages. Prominent contributors to the book are Frederick Brooks, Alain Colmerauer, Richard Gabriel, Ralph Griswold, Per Brinch Hansen, Alan Kay, C.H. Lindsey, Barbara Liskov, Richard Nance, Elizabeth Rather, Dennis Ritchie, Jean Sammet, Guy Steels, Bjarne Stroustrup, William Whitaker, and Niklaus Wirth. Together, the conference contributors and the book's editors have put together a volume of interest to researchers, teachers, students, and computing professionals everywhere who are involved in the use or the development of programming languages today.


This comprehensive overview of programming languages, their history, current application, and future direction, is based on the proceedings of the second conference on the History of Programming Languages. Its contents include a summary of the HOPL conferences, plus sections addressing successful programming languages by some of the most prominent names in computing.

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Editorial Reviews

Proceedings of the April 1993 Second ACM SIGPLAN History of Programming Languages Conference, containing presentations on 13 programming languages that have been in use for at least 10 years, including ALGOL, APL, COBOL, JOVIAL, and SNOBOL, as well as a keynote address on language design and discussion sessions. Each chapter includes a transcript of the presentation and the following question and answer session and remarks. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780201895025
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley
  • Publication date: 5/17/1996
  • Series: ACM Press Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 864
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.05 (h) x 2.04 (d)

Meet the Author

Editor Thomas J. (Tim) Bergin, a Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems at the American University in Washington, D.C., edited Computer-Aided Software Engineering: Issues and Trends for the 1990s and Beyond (1993) and coauthored A Microcomputer Based Primer on Structural Behavior (1986).

About Richard G. Gibson

Editor Richard G. (Rick) Gibson has taught a variety of programming languages around the globe. He serves on several editorial boards, including those of The Journal of Global Information Management, The Journal of Database Management, and The Journal of End-User Computing.

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Table of Contents

Editors' Introduction
General Introduction
Development of the HOPL-II Program
Conference Chairman's Opening Remarks 1
Language Design as Design 4
From HOPL to HOPL-II (1978-1993): 15 Years of Programming Language Development 16
Making History 25
A History of ALGOL 68 27
Recollections about the Development of Pascal 97
Monitors and Concurrent Pascal: A Personal History 121
ADA - The Project: The DoD High Order Language Working Group 173
The Evolution of Lisp 233
The Birth of Prolog 331
A History of Discrete Event Simulation Programming Languages 369
The Beginning and Development of Formac (FORmula MAnipulation Compiler) 429
A History of CLU 471
The Early History of Smalltalk 511
History of the Icon Programming Language 599
The Evolution of Forth 625
The Development of the C Programming Language 671
A History of C++: 1979-1991 699
Issues in the History of Computing 772
Archives Specializing in the History of Computing 782
The Role of Museums in Collecting Computers 785
The Annals of the History of Computing and Other Journals 789
An Effective History Conference 795
University Courses 799
Documenting Projects with History in Mind 806
Issues in the Writing of Contemporary History 808
Forum Closing Panel 810
Appendix A: What Makes History? 831
Appendix B: Call for Papers 833
Appendix C: List of Attendees 849
Appendix D: Final Conference Program 851
Index 857
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