Criteria for transportable algol libraries

  • Pieter W. Hemker
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 57)


A rather comprehensive numerical software library (NUMAL {3}) was transported from a Philips EL-X8 computer to a CDC CYBER system. The experiences justify the following conclusion:

If (1) we use a well-defined language (e.g., ALGOL 60 or ALGOL 68), if (2) we construct well-programmed software in that language, if (3) we have a good compiler and if (4) the computer/compiler has well-designed arithmetic properties, then the transportability problem scarcely exists. This statement can also be put the other way. The requirement of orthogonality of the conditions (1) – (4) determines what can be considered as a decent programming language, a good compiler, good programming and well-behaved arithmetic.

For instance, good programming should not make use (perhaps at the cost of some efficiency) of idiosyncratic features of a language dialect, of a particular compiler or of a particular kind of machine arithmetic. From this abstract point of view, a number of useful properties of a well-structured portable software library are mentioned.


Good Programming Arithmetical Property Program Text Numerical Routine Library NUMAL 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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    Naur, P., Ed., Revised Report on the Algorithmic Language ALGOL 60, A/S Regnecentralen, Copenhagen, 1964.Google Scholar
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    NUMAL, A Library of Numerical Procedures in ALGOL 60, Mathematical Centre, 1974.Google Scholar
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    Wilkinson, J. H., and Reinsch, C., Handbook for Automatic Computation, Vol. 2, Linear Algebra, Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg, 1971.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1977

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  • Pieter W. Hemker

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