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Research and Advances

Programming languages, natural languages, and mathematics

Some social aspects of pro gramming are illuminated through analogies with similar aspects of mathematics and natural languages. The split between pure and applied mathematics is found similarly in programming. The development of natural languages toward flexionless, word-order based language types speaks for programming language design based on general, abstract constructs. By analogy with incidents of the history of artificial, auxiliary languages it is suggested that Fortran and Cobol will remain dominant for a long time to come. The most promising avenues for further work of wide influence are seen to be high quality program literature (i.e. programs) of general utility and studies of questions related to program style.
Research and Advances

Program translation viewed as a general data processing problem

Efficiency dictates that the overall effectiveness of a compiler be increased by all means available. For a compiler to have a substantial useful life it needs a clear logical structure, reliability and sound data processing techniques. A compiler must be based on fixed conventions to preserve efficiency and reliability; empty options and default conventions violate this dictum. Use of structure to associate various parts of a program and economy of features promote clarity and reliability.
Research and Advances

Documentation problems: ALGOL 60

In presenting the following notes I wish to make it clear that they express only my private views. Thus although these views naturally have been greatly influenced by the experience I have gained through my participation in the international ALGOL effort they do not represent the agreed opinion of any group and I alone should be held responsible for any misrepresentations.

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