Algol 60 Programming Course Notes

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Algol 60 Programming Course Notes
46 pages of foolscap typed notes

A milestone in the late 1950s was the publication, by a committee of American and European computer scientists, of "a new language for algorithms"; the ALGOL 60 Report (the "ALGOrithmic Language"). This report consolidated many ideas circulating at the time and featured two key language innovations:

Nested block structure: code sequences and associated declarations could be grouped into blocks without having to be turned into separate, explicitly named procedures;
Lexical scoping: a block could have its own private variables, procedures and functions, invisible to code outside that block, i.e. information hiding.
Another innovation, related to this, was in how the language was described:

A mathematically exact notation, Backus-Naur Form (BNF), was used to describe the language's syntax. Nearly all subsequent programming languages have used a variant of BNF to describe the context-free portion of their syntax.
Algol 60 was particularly influential in the design of later languages, some of which soon became more popular. The Burroughs large systems were designed to be programmed in an extended subset of Algol.

Algol's key ideas were continued, producing ALGOL 68:

This document was kindly donated by Helen Young

Reference Number :

Date Published : 1965

Manufacturer : algol

Platform : algol






This exhibit has a reference ID of CH8774. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.

Algol 60 Programming Course Notes

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