[Home]Algol programming language

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Algol is a computer programming language originally developed in 1958, which was named for the algorithmic process of definition of a programming problem. It is short for Algorithmic Language. In some ways, it was a reaction to Fortran and was a precursor to Pascal. It uses words to bracket blocks and was the first to use begin end pairs.

There were three main official versions of Algol: [Algol 58]?, [Algol 60]?, and [Algol 68]?. Of these, [Algol 60]? was by far the most influential. ([Algol 60]? produced [Algol W]?, which in turn produced Pascal.) Each of the official Algol versions is named after the year in which it was published.

Algol was developed jointly by a committee of European and American computer scientists. It had at least three different syntaxes: a reference syntax, a publication syntax, and an implementation syntax. The different syntaxes permitted it to use different keyword names, conventions for decimal points (commas vs. periods) for different languages.

[John Backus]? developed the [Backus Normal Form]? method of describing programming languages specifically for [Algol 58]?. It was revised and expanded by [Peter Naur]? to the [Backus Naur Form]? for [Algol 68]?.

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Last edited December 15, 2001 10:27 pm by Zundark (diff)