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Short for Algorithmic Language, ALGOL refers to a family of imperative, procedural, structured programming languages that were introduced in the late 1950s.

Developed by a committee of computer scientists from the United States and Europe, ALGOL was the standard method for algorithm description used by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) for more than thirty years. It was perhaps the most influential of the four high-level languages at the time, the others being COBOL, FORTRAN, and Lisp, influencing the development of B, BCPL, C, Pascal, and PL/I.

Used mostly by research compute scientists, ALGOL's commercial use was impeded by its lack of standard input/output facilities in its description, as well as low interest in the language by the large computer vendors of the time, with the exception of the Burroughs Corporation.

The major implementations of ALGOL were ALGOL 58, ALGOL 60, AND ALGOL 68. Others included Dartmouth ALGOL 30 and S-algol.

ALGOL 58 was originally known as IAL. It introduced the notion of the compound statement but was restricted to flow control only. It gave rise to ALGO, BALGOL, JOVIAL, MAD, NELIAC, SUBALGOL, and ZMMD, but was soon superseded by ALGOL 60.

ALGOL 60 followed from ALGOL 58, and was the first language to implement nested function definitions with lexical scope. It influenced several other programming languages, such as B, BCPL, C, CPL, Pascal, and Simula. Implementations of ALGOL 60 included ALGAMS, ALGEK, Algol, ALGOL W, ALGOL/ZAM, Burroughs Algol, Case ALGOL, Chinese Algol, DASK ALGOL, DG/L, Elliott ALGOL, FP6000 Algol, GIER ALGOL, GOGOL, Kidsgrove Algol, MALGOL, MARST, NASE, NU ALGOL, RegneCentralen ALGOL 60, Simula 67, SMIL ALGOL, USS 90 Algol, VALGOL, Whetstone, and X1 ALGOL 60. Many of these languages are no longer in use, and some enjoyed only a brief lifespan.

ALGOL 68 was a successor to ALGOL 60, offering a wider scope of application and more rigorously defined syntax and semantics. Implementations of ALGOL 68 include ALGOL 68+, ALGOL 68C, ALGOL 68-DR, Algol 68 Genie, ALGOL 68-R, ALGOL 68RS, ALGOL 68-RT, ALGOL 68S, Algol68toC, ALGOL H, ALGOL Y, Berlin ALGOL, EPOS ALGOL, FLACC, Generalized ALGOL, Interactive ALGOL, Leningrad ALGOL 68, M-220 ALGOL 68, Mini ALGOL, MK2 Interactive ALGOL 68, Odra Algol 68, Oklahoma ALGOL 68, OREGANO, and RS Algol. Additionally, ALGOL 68 influenced the development of C, C++, and Python.

As officially defined, ALGOL 60 had no input/output (I/O) facilities, so many of these implementations defined their own in ways that were not compatible with one another. ALGOL 68, however, offered a large library of I/O facilities.

Topics related to ALGOL or any of its implementations, editors, or tools designed to assist in the use of the language are the focus of this category. Any of the implementations of the language are also appropriate for this category, as are user groups, forums, tutorials, or guides.

 

 

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