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algorithmic language (ALGOL 60)

ALGOL 60 (Algorithmic Language) is one of the first procedural programming languages developed in 1958-1963 under the leadership of the Association for Computer Machinery( ACM) and the Society for Applied Mathematics and Mechanics (GAMM), later the International Federation for Information Processing( IFIP). It involved an international team including John Backus and Peter Naur, who introduced the formal definition of programming languages using the text-based Backus-Naur form in this project. The language was used for scientific mainly numerical purposes and was independent of any commercial interests.

In a time, in which predominantly the languagesFortran and Cobol were used, ALGOL 60 was reserved as the first program language to realize a run time check. Further characteristics of ALGOL 60:

  • Introduction of block structures and the visibility of variables,
  • 2 ways to pass parameters to functions and procedures: value and name parameters and
  • the possibility to program recursively.
A disadvantage regarding the portability of ALGOL 60 programs is that their input and output functions were not clearly defined in the language core. Thus it can come depending upon used Compiler to different implementations.

Example of an Algol 60 programming

Example of an Algol 60 programming

ALGOL 68, on the other hand, is a comprehensive redesign of the language based on the experiences of ALGOL 60. This definition was first published in 1969 as Report on the Algorithmic Language ALGOL 68 and revised in 1975 in the Revised Report. Among other things functions for the input and output were defined and the possibilities for the use of structures and other data types as well as references were created.

From the programming language ALGOL 60 the language Simula-67 and the language ALGOL-W defined by Niklaus Wirth, the forerunner of the programming language Pascal published later by him, developed.

Englisch: algorithmic language - ALGOL 60
Updated at: 02.11.2009
#Words: 275
Links: procedural programming, association for computer machinery (ACM), international federation of information processing (IFIP), text (TXT), project
Translations: DE

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