Computer Old Farts Forum
 help / color / mirror / Atom feed
* [COFF] Fate of CERN's PL-11 Language for the PDP-11
@ 2023-08-25 16:04 Clem Cole
  0 siblings, 0 replies; only message in thread
From: Clem Cole @ 2023-08-25 16:04 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: Computer Old Farts Followers

[-- Attachment #1: Type: text/plain, Size: 1865 bytes --]

C, BLISS, BCPL, and the like were hardly the only systems programming
languages that targeted the PDP-11.  I knew about many system programming
languages of those times and used all three of these, plus a few others,
such as PL/360, which Wirth created at Stanford in the late 1960s to
develop the Algol-W compiler.  Recently, I was investigating something
about early systems programming languages, and a couple of questions came
to me that I could use some help finding answers (see below).

In 1971, RD Russell of CERN wrote a child of Wirth's PL/360 called PL-11:
Programming Language for the DEC PDP-11 Computer
<> in Fortran IV.  It
supposedly ran on CERN's IBM 360 as a cross-compiler and was hosted on
DOS-11 and later RSX. [It seems very 'CARD' oriented if you look at the
manual - which makes sense, given the time frame].  I had once before heard
about it but knew little.  So, I started to dig a little.

If I understand some of the history correctly, PL-11 was created/developed
for a real-time test jig that CERN needed.  While it was available in
limited cases, since BLISS-11 required a PDP-10 to cross-compile, it was
not considered (I've stated earlier that some poor marketing choices at DEC
hurt BLISS's ability to spread).  Anyway, a friend at CERN later in the
70s/80s told me they thought that as soon as UNIX made it on the scene
there since it was interactive and more accessible, C was quickly
preferred as the system programming language of choice. However, a BCPL
that had come from somewhere in the UK was also kicking around.

So, some questions WRT PL-11:

   1. Does anyone here know any (more) of the story -- Why/How?
   2. Do you know if the FORTRAN source survives?
   3. Did anything interesting/lasting get written using it?


[-- Attachment #2: Type: text/html, Size: 2878 bytes --]

^ permalink raw reply	[flat|nested] only message in thread

only message in thread, other threads:[~2023-08-25 16:04 UTC | newest]

Thread overview: (only message) (download: mbox.gz / follow: Atom feed)
-- links below jump to the message on this page --
2023-08-25 16:04 [COFF] Fate of CERN's PL-11 Language for the PDP-11 Clem Cole

This is a public inbox, see mirroring instructions
for how to clone and mirror all data and code used for this inbox;
as well as URLs for NNTP newsgroup(s).