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Getting rid of labels


This report presents some of the principles underlying the currently projected iswim programming system.

In most programming languages the user encounters situations in which he decides whether to write labels and jumps, or to use some other, less explicit way of indicating the sequence of computing steps. This paper draws attention to some of the alternatives to explicit sequencing, as offered in current languages. It explains why it is important to reduce reliance on explicit sequencing and describes new linguistic developments, not yet in current languages, that would make progress in this direction.


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Edited by R.D. Tennent.

R.D. Tennent (corresponding author) School of Computing, Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada e-mail:

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Landin, P.J. Getting rid of labels. Higher-Order Symb Comput 22, 315–329 (2009).

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  • ALGOL60
  • Explicit sequencing
  • Language design