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Communications of the ACM

Historical reflections

In Praise of 'Wilkes, Wheeler, and Gill'

steel cabinet which held the EDSAC subroutine library

The EDSAC subroutine library was kept in the steel cabinet on the left in the image. Library tapes were copied mechanically onto the users program tape and then returned to the cabinet.

Sixty years ago, Maurice Wilkes, David Wheeler, and Stanley Gill produced the first textbook on programming: The Preparation of Programs for an Electronic Digital Computer. It was a publication that spearheaded the software revolution.

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