A is for Algol

Spent part of Tuesday night tooling through the "Innovation Dinner" at Sun's Analyst Summit with a microphone, talking to employees and analysts about their perceptions of the rather long day. Bill Vass, president of SunFed, got us onto a sidetrack enumerating programming languages (not all of which support enumeration) that start with each letter of the alphabet.

A is for Algol, APL, and ADA.

B brings back BASIC; C is self-explanatory.

Eiffel, Prolog and yacc made guest appearances, with minor discussion of whether yacc is a language or just the name of a tool (and if it's just a tool, what do you call the syntax for specifying the syntax of a language?)

After parsing the alphabet, we found ourselves lacking languages that begin with G, N or Q. Vass decided that nroff didn't count, because it's a tool rather than a language. First time all day we were at a loss for words or tokens.

Comments:

G is for GOTRAN, a dialect of FORTRAN that shipped with the IBM 1620

Q is for QuakeC, the C-derivative language widely used by Quake hackers to write Quake mods like capture the flag

N is for NESL, a parallel programming language developed at Carnegie Mellon University

Posted by Ryan Eberhard on February 08, 2007 at 08:09 AM EST #

"what do you call the syntax for specifying the syntax of a language?" Backus-Naur Form http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backus-Naur_form

Posted by mcd on February 08, 2007 at 09:09 AM EST #

Don't forget "qbasic".

Posted by Brian Utterback on February 09, 2007 at 02:39 AM EST #

"N" is also for NPL, the original name for PL/1 aka PL/I.

Posted by Jeff Savit on February 13, 2007 at 01:33 AM EST #

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