Numerische Mathematik

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 420–453 | Cite as

Revised report on the algorithmic languageAlgol 60

  • J. W. Backus
  • F. L. Bauer
  • J. Green
  • C. Katz
  • J. McCarthy
  • P. Naur
  • A. J. Perlis
  • H. Rutishauser
  • K. Samelson
  • B. Vauquois
  • J. H. Wegstein
  • A. van Wijngaarden
  • M. Woodger
  • W. L. van der Poel
Article

Summary

The report gives a complete defining description of the international algorithmic languageAlgol 60. This is a language suitable for expressing a large class of numerical processes in a form sufficiently concise for direct automatic translation into the language of programmed automatic computers.

The introduction contains an account of the preparatory work leading up to the final conference, where the language was defined. In addition the notions reference language, publication language, and hardware representations are explained.

In the first chapter a survey of the basic constituents and features of the language is given, and the formal notation, by which the syntactic structure is defined, is explained.

The second chapter lists all the basic symbols, and the syntactic units known as identifiers, numbers, and strings are defined. Further some important notions such as quantity and value are defined.

The third chapter explains the rules for forming expressions and the meaning of these expressions. Three different types of expressions exist: arithmetic, Boolean (logical), and designational.

The fourth chapter describes the operational units of the language, known as statements. The basic statements are: assignment statements (evaluation of a formula), go to statements (explicit break of the sequence of execution of statements), dummy statements, and procedure statements (call for execution of a closed process, defined by a procedure declaration). The formation of more complex structures, having statement character, is explained. These include: conditional statements, for statements, compound statements, and blocks.

In the fifth chapter the units known as declarations, serving for defining permanent properties of the units entering into a process described in the language, are defined.

The report ends with two detailed examples of the use of the language and an alphabetic index of definitions.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1962

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. W. Backus
    • 1
  • F. L. Bauer
    • 1
  • J. Green
    • 1
  • C. Katz
    • 1
  • J. McCarthy
    • 1
  • P. Naur
    • 1
  • A. J. Perlis
    • 1
  • H. Rutishauser
    • 1
  • K. Samelson
    • 1
  • B. Vauquois
    • 1
  • J. H. Wegstein
    • 1
  • A. van Wijngaarden
    • 1
  • M. Woodger
    • 1
  • W. L. van der Poel
    • 1
  1. 1.Technical University DelftDelftHolland

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