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Issue No.04 - Oct.-Dec. (2013 vol.35)
pp: 18-30
Until about 1970, programming languages and their compilers were perhaps the most active system software area. Because of its technical position at that time, IBM made significant contributions to this field. This retrospective concentrates on two languages, Algol 60 and PL/I, because with them compiler development reached an historical peak within IBM's European laboratories. The Boeblingen, Hursley, and La Gaude labs were involved in compiler projects for a period of 10 to 15 years. This article considers the development of programming in general, the author's experience, and the responsibility of the different laboratories. As a consequence of IBM's "unbundling"' decision in 1969, programming language activity within IBM's European laboratories decreased considerably, and other software activities were initiated. Some of the lessons learned at that time are still useful today.
History, Computer languages, Program processors, Programming,Hursley, History, Computer languages, Program processors, Programming, La Gaude, history of computing, IBM, compilers, Algol 60, PL/I, Boeblingen
Albert Endres, "Early Language and Compiler Developments at IBM Europe: A Personal Retrospection", IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol.35, no. 4, pp. 18-30, Oct.-Dec. 2013, doi:10.1109/MAHC.2013.31
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5. Coming from the University of Bonn, Germany, I was doing geophysical research for one year at the Institute of Cartography, Photogrammetry and Geodesy.
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13. After the project, Hoffmann joined the IBM Research lab in Zurich for a while, before he became a professor of computer science in Darmstadt, Germany.
14. Share represented the technical users, Guide the commercial users of IBM systems. IBM hardly started any major effort without support of its user organizations.
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24. One of the organizers was Louis Bolliet of Grenoble. I had met Bolliet in 1963 during our common assignment in New York. My management's reaction to my attendance is described in my 2004 article, “IBM Boeblingen's Early Software Contributions.”
25. The “unbundling”, announcement in 1969 introduced the terms SCP and PP. SCPs continued to be free of charge—that is, bundled with the hardware. PPs were separately priced and had to justify themselves financially.
26. P. Lucas and K. Walk, “On the Formal Definition of PL/I,” Ann. Rev. Automatic Programming, vol. 6, no. 3, 1969.
27. See
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