Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Today In History; First Joint Meeting of U.S. & European ALGOL Definition Committee

1958: ALGOL is a computer programming language which was named for the algorithmic process of defining a programming problem. It uses words to bracket blocks and was the first to use begin-end pairs. ALGOL was developed jointly by a committee of European and American computer scientists, whose first meeting took place on this day in 1958. Three different syntaxes made it more versatile than its predecessor, FORTRAN, permitting it to use different keyword names and conventions for decimal points (commas vs. periods) for different languages. Of the three versions of ALGOL - ALGOL 58, 60, and 68 - 60 was considered the most useful. ALGOL was used primarily for mathmatical purposes. Later languages, such as Pascal and C, built on ALGOL.

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