LISP and Symbolic Computation

, Volume 6, Issue 3–4, pp 233–247 | Cite as

The discoveries of continuations

  • John C. Reynolds


We give a brief account of the discoveries of continuations and related concepts by A. van Wijngaarden, A. W. Mazurkiewicz, F. L. Morris, C. P. Wadsworth, J. H. Morris, M. J. Fischer, and S. K. Abdali.


Semantics Continuation Continuation-Passing Style 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Abdali, S. Kamal.A Simple Lambda-Calculus Model of Programming Languages. AEC R & D Report C00-3077-28, New York University (1973).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Abdali, S. Kamal.A Combinatory Logic Model of Programming Languages. PhD thesis, University of Wisconsin (1974).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Abdali, S. Kamal. A lambda-calculus model of programming languages — I. simple constructs.Journal of Computer Languages, 1 (1976) 287–301.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Abdali, S. Kamal. A lambda-calculus model of programming languages — II. jumps and procedures.Journal of Computer Languages, 1 (1976) 303–320.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Abdali, S. Kamal. Electronic mail to J. C. Reynolds. (July 21, 1993).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Abdali, S. Kamal and Winkler, Franz.A Lambda-Calculus Model for Generating Verification Conditions. Technical Report CS-8104, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (June 1981).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Abdali, S. Kamal and Wise, David S. Standard, storeless semantics for ALGOL-style block structure and call-by-name. In Melton, Austin, editor,Mathematical Foundations of Programming Semantics, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 239, Springer-Verlag, Berlin (1986) 1–19.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Clinger, William, Friedman, Daniel P., and Wand, Mitchell. A scheme for a higher-level semantic algebra. In Nivat, Maurice and Reynolds, John C., editors,Algebraic Methods in Semantics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England (1985) 237–250.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Dijkstra, Edsger W. Recursive programming.Numerische Mathematik, 2 (1960) 312–318.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Dijkstra, Edsger W. Go To statement considered harmful.Communications of the ACM, 11, 3 (March 1968) 147–148. Letter to the editor.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Farber, David J., Griswold, Ralph E., and Polonsky, Ivan P. SNOBOL, a string manipulation language.Journal of the ACM, 11, 1 (January 1964) 21–30.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Fischer, Michael J. Lambda calculus schemata. InProceedings of an ACM Conference on Proving Assertions about Programs (1972) 104–109.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Fischer, Michael J. Lambda-calculus schemata.LISP and Symbolic Computation, 6, 3/4 (1993) 257–285. Appears in this issue.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Landin, Peter J. The mechanical evaluation of expressions.The Computer Journal, 6, 4 (January 1964) 308–320.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Landin, Peter J. A correspondence between ALGOL 60 and Church's lambda-notation.Communications of the ACM, 8, 2–3 (February–March 1965) 89–101 and 158–165.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Landin, Peter J.A Generalization of Jumps and Labels. Report, UNIVAC Systems Programming Research (August 29, 1965).Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Landin, Peter J. The next 700 programming languages.Communications of the ACM, 9, 3 (March 1966) 157–166.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Mazurkiewicz, Antoni W. Proving algorithms by tail functions.Information and Control, 18, 3 (April 1971) 220–226.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Mazurkiewicz, Antoni W. Iteratively computable relations.Bulletin de l'Académie Polonaise des Sciences Série des Sciences Mathématiques, Astronomiques et Physiques, 20, 9 (1972) 793–798.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Mazurkiewicz, Antoni W. Recursive algorithms and formal languages.Bulletin de l'Académie Polonaise des Sciences Série des Sciences Mathématiques, Astronomiques et Physiques, 20, 9 (1972) 799–803.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    McCarthy, John et al.LISP 1.5 Programmer's Manual. MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts (1962).Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    McIlroy, M. Douglas. Electronic mail to J. C. Reynolds. (July 14, 1993).Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Milne, Robert.The Formal Semantics of Computer Languages and their Implementations. PhD thesis, Oxford University (1974). Report PRG-13 and Technical Microfiche TCF-2.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Milne, Robert and Strachey, Christopher.A Theory of Programming Language Semantics. Chapman and Hall, London (1976). In two volumes. Also published by John Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Morris, F. Lockwood. Electronic mail to J. C. Reynolds. (July 13, 1993).Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Morris, F. Lockwood. The next 700 formal language descriptions.LISP and Symbolic Computation, 6, 3/4 (1993) 249–256. Original manuscript dated November 1970.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Morris, Jr., James H.Lambda-Calculus Models of Programming Languages. PhD thesis, MIT (December 1968). Report No. MAC-TR-57.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Morris, Jr., James H. Eliminating non-local transfers from ALGOL-like languages. (1971). Unpublished.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Morris, Jr., James H. A bonus from van Wijngaarden's device.Communications of the ACM, 15, 8 (August 1972) page 773.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Morris, Jr., James H. Electronic mail to J. C. Reynolds. (July 22, 1993).Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Naur, Peter. The design of the GIER ALGOL compiler, part I.BIT, 3 (1963) 124–140. Reprinted in Goodman, Richard, editor,Annual Review in Automatic Programming, Vol. 4, Pergamon Press, Oxford (1964) 49–85.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Naur, Peteret al. Report on the algorithmic language ALGOL 60.Communications of the ACM, 3, 5 (May 1960) 299–314.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Naur, Peteret al. Revised report on the algorithmic language ALGOL 60.Communications of the ACM, 6, 1 (January 1963) 1–17.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Reynolds, John C. An introduction to the COGENT programming system. InAssociation for Computing Machinery Proceedings of the 20th National Conference (1965) 422–436.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Reynolds, John C. GEDANKEN — a simple typeless language based on the principle of completeness and the reference concept.Communications of the ACM, 13, 5 (May 1970) 308–319.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Reynolds, John C. Definitional interpreters for higher-order programming languages. InProceedings of the ACM Annual Conference (1972) 717–740.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Reynolds, John C. On the relation between direct and continuation semantics. In Loeckx, Jacques, editor,Automata, Languages and Programming, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 14, Springer-Verlag, Berlin (1974) 141–156.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Reynolds, John C. Semantics of the domain of flow diagrams.Journal of the ACM, 24, 3 (July 1977) 484–503.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Scott, Dana S. Outline of a mathematical theory of computation. InProceedings of the Fourth Annual Princeton Conference on Information Sciences and Systems (1970) 169–176.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Scott, Dana S.Outline of a Mathematical Theory of Computation. Technical Monograph PRG-2, Oxford University Computing Laboratory (November 1970).Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Steele Jr., Guy Lewis and Sussman, Gerald Jay.LAMBDA: The Ultimate Imperative. AI Memo 353, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (March 10, 1976).Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Strachey, Christopher. A mathematical semantics which can deal with full jumps. InThéorie des Algorithmes, des Langages et de la Programmation, IRIA (INRIA), Rocquencourt, France (1973) 175–191.Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Strachey, Christopher and Wadsworth, Christopher P.Continuations, A Mathematical Semantics for Handling Full Jumps. Technical Monograph PRG-11, Oxford University Computing Laboratory (January 1974).Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Sussman, Gerald Jay and Steele Jr., Guy Lewis,SCHEME: An Interpreter for Extended Lambda Calculus. AI Memo 349, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (December 1975).Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    van Wijngaarden, Adriaan. Recursive definition of syntax and semantics. In Steel, Jr., T. B., editor,Formal Language Description Language for Computer Programming, North-Holland, Amsterdam (1966) 13–24.Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Wadsworth, Christopher P.Semantics and Pragmatics of the Lambda-Calculus. PhD thesis, Oxford University (September 1971).Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Wadsworth, Christopher P. Electronic mail to Amr A. Sabry. (December 24, 1992).Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Wadsworth, Christopher P. Electronic mail to J. C. Reynolds. (July 22, 1993).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • John C. Reynolds
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Computer ScienceCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburgh

Personalised recommendations