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First released in 1987, with a stable release in 1990, the ABC programming language was developed at Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica in the Netherlands by Leo Geurts, Lambert Meertens, and Steven Pemberton.

ABC is an imperative, general-purpose programming language and integrated development environment (IDE). It is an interactive, structured, and high-level language intended for teaching or prototyping, but not as a systems-programming language. However, its designers intended for the language to be used for general programming, the sort of programming that BASIC or Pascal would normally be used for. While not a systems-programming language, it is well suited for expressing and developing systems-programming type algorithms.

Influenced by SETL and ALGOL 68, ABC had a major influence on the design of the Python programming language, which was developed by Guido van Rossum, who had worked on the ABC system for several years in the 1980s.

According to its designers, the ABC programming language is more readable and typically results in programs that are about one-fourth the size of equivalent programs written in Pascal or C. ABC has only five data types, while Pascal has thirteen and C has nineteen. In ABC, there are no required variable declarations, and it supports top-down programming. Statement nesting is indicated by indentation through the off-side rule. Additionally, ABC supports infinite precision arithmetic, unlimited-sized lists and strings, and other features that make it a good choice for novice programmers.

The full ABC system includes a programming environment with a structure editor (syntax-directed editor), suggestions, static variables (persistent), and multiple workspaces, and is available as an interpreter-compiler.

Its first stable release, issued in 1990, is its latest version. It is ported to Atari, DOS, macOS, and Unix.

This part of our computer programming language guide covers the ABC programming language. Topics related to the language itself, or any tutorials, user groups, forums, or reviews are appropriate for this category.



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