Digital set-top boxes (slightly O/T) - weak signal area.

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Correct. Lisp and Algol predated Cobol, too.
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Nostalgia: I used to be quite proficient in Algol 60; never could understand why anyone could prefer Fortran...
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I think it was most of all availability of libraries/bits of program others had already written: an early case of first-to-market wins.
I too have a fondness for Algol 60: the first program I ever wrote, doing self-teaching on the University (of York, if anyone's interested) timesharing machine was in Algol-60, a few days after I'd got my account and got fatally bitten by the computing addiction while nominally doing a biochem degree (swapped to CompSci after a year). A little automated Q&A system recommended which language you should learn, and though it had been put together by Simula fanatics - so Simula was always somewhere on the top 3 of its recommendations - Algol was wot floated to the top, so I hied me off to the university library, got out a book, and started on the slippery slope. Deepening the addiction, the 6-line program compiled & ran first time...
Ah, TOPS-10: now *there* was an OS. And a 36-bit machine with ability to address bytes of arbitrary size (from 1 to 36 bits) and step within and across words as you incremented along... and perform arbitrary levels of address redirection (briefly opening up the possibility of an uninterruptible instruction, JRST @. - causing the machine to fetch the address of the address of the address of the address of [repeat ad inf] the place to jump to.
Stefek 'has this drifted off topic far enough yet'?
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On 16 Jan 2004 20:50:44 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@hp.com wrote:

Another factor was that a lot of UK universities bought Elliott 803s, mainly in the 60's IIRC, and then followed by buying 4130s. University of Wales had one of those, and I believe York and Manchester did as well.
Algol-60 was the preferred compiler on both of those. On the 803 you had to load the compiler from paper tape (about 4k of it) and then your own stuff. On the 4130 you would type up cards on a punch and give a stack to an operator. At some time later, you would get a stack of cards back and some listing.
Mentioning York, reminded me, since we were discussing mail the other day, that there used to be a device invented at York called a 'York box". IIRC, it was some kind of mail gateway or perhaps protocol translator. They sold units to most of UK academia. I can't find any references to it now though...... I think it was early 80s?

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understand
I was taught by one of the men who formed Algol, and another who developed the LCD display.
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.. and who were they?

.andy
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developed
lecturers of course. duh!!
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In trigonometry, no doubt... obtuse angles.....

.andy
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They have obtuse angles in trig there days? My oh my!
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understand
"C" beats em all. operating systems have been written in C.
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That's all that should be written in C, in my book (and there are better languages for that). And even then only by people with at least 0.9 of a clue.
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You obviously don't know about C. The problem with C is that if the programmer is not educated to write structured code it is awful and spaghetti like. Pascal is the best language to learn from as it forces the user into a reasonably structured way. Write all languages like in Pascal and you can't go wrong.
C is a programers language. It is for getting your hands dirty.
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Ah. Thanks for letting us know that.

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better
a
the
Pascal
Pleasure.
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"IMM" wrote | You obviously don't know about C. The problem with C is that | if the programmer is not educated to write structured code it | is awful and spaghetti like. Pascal is the best language to | learn from as it forces the user into a reasonably structured | way.
Well it did until this user found GOTO in the book and whooped with joy. I also found the sentence that said "always re-use code wherever possible" so I re-used the code of the chap sitting next to me.
Owain
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Owain wrote:

Until you have scratched your head over how to get out of 16 level deep nested subroutines and abort a whole process in Pasacal, an drealised that - shit, yes, setjmp()and Longjmp() are in fact exactly what you need to get back to a fresh start when you have detected deep in the mire that the other end has dropped the line on you...
Pascal is fine for teaching, and that every subroutine has an entrance as well as an exit, but sometimes you just want to crash through it all and start over. Pascal means you have to write an explicit error handler at EVERY level.
You can't write a real time task scheduler in it either. Mind you its pretty impossible in 'C' as well. You need to do nasty theings like manipulationg stack pointers - a complete nono in C - for good reasons!

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I obviously do.

Hmm, first "C beats em all", and then apparently it doesn't :-)

They all are, to a greater or lesser extent.
I would guess that 90+% of all security holes have been a result of crappy C coding, or maybe C++, its bastard offspring. If the language (or perhaps its "standard library") was as good as you claim, such mistakes wouldn't be so easy to make. You can't simultaneously applaud a language and deride its users for not being smart enough to avoid writing bad code in it.
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better
a
Not much.

the
Pascal
It is brilliant for what it was intended, and even more.

Proper in-depth programmers. You could say that someone who puts together a spreadsheet is a programmer.

C
be
its
You can deride its users. Programmers have to know what the hell they are programming and that includes know about security.
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On Sun, 18 Jan 2004 17:06:12 +0000, John Laird

I'm not sure your guess is accurate. C is about as close to machine code as it is possible to get. With Pascal et al the compiler typically adds error checking to catch situations such as when a divide by zero occurs - C compilers don't usually add that overhead.
I have programmed in C, C++, Pascal, Fortran, Visual Basic and a couple of other languages. Of them all, C was the one that was inherently "unstable" from a programmers point of view. It was far easier to program a routine to crash the host computer with C than for other languages.
But at the same time, C was also inherently quite forgiving in terms of casting and similar situations. I quite liked C because you could perform desired operations without having to jump thru hoops to either become compliant with the compilers needs, or deliberately instruct the compiler to ignore the error caused by the programming need.
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Err, no. Machine code is as close to machine code as it is possible to get.
Then assembler.
Then 'C'.
'C' combines all the power of assembler with all the security and ease of use of ... assembler.
    .file    "hello.c"     .section    ".rodata"     .align 8 .LLC0:     .asciz    "Hello World!\n"     .section    ".text"     .align 4     .global main     .type    main,#function     .proc    04 main:     !#PROLOGUE# 0     save    %sp, -112, %sp     !#PROLOGUE# 1     sethi    %hi(.LLC0), %o0     or    %o0, %lo(.LLC0), %o0     call    printf, 0      nop     mov    %o0, %i0     nop     ret     restore .LLfe1:     .size    main,.LLfe1-main     .ident    "GCC: (GNU) 3.2.2"
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