Whetstone Wanderings

  • Brian Wichmann
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6875)


The paper starts with a description of research work undertaken by the author based upon the Whetstone compiler and interpreter. This leads naturally onto the controversial area of the successor to ALGOL 60. The author’s choice would be Ada due to his involvement with the language. Next is a reflection on the Whetstone system made possible by an emulator of the KDF9 computer. Finally, there is a reflection on modern computing which appears to have gone downhill as far as software is concerned.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Barnes, J.: High Integrity Software - the Spark approach to safety and security. Addison-Wesley, Reading (2003)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Stroustrup, B.: The Design and Evolution of C++. Addison-Wesley, Reading (1994)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Randell, B., Russell, L.J.: ALGOL 60 Implementation. Academic Press, London (1964)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Wichmann, B.A.: Some statistics from ALGOL programs. NPL, CCU report (1970)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Wichmann, B.A.: Five ALGOL compilers. The Computer Journal. Comp. Journal 15(1), 8–12 (1972)MathSciNetzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Curnow, H.J., Wichmann, B.A.: A synthetic benchmark. Computer Journal 19(1), 43–49 (1976)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Wichmann, B.A.: ALGOL 60 Compilation and Assessment, p. 317. Academic Press, London (1973)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Holt, R.C., Hume, J.N.P.: Introduction to Computer Science using the Turing Programming language. Reston Publishing (1984)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Roy Longbottom’s PC Benchmark Collection,
  10. 10.
    Wichmann, B.A.: A comparison of Pascal and Ada. Computer Journal 25(2), 248–252Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Roberts, K.V., Peckover, R.S.: Symbolic Programming for Plasma Physics. Culham Laboratory Report CLM-P 257 November 257Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Wichmann, B.A.: Why Ada is for you. In: Woodman, M. (ed.) Programming Language Choice - Practice and Experience, pp. 125–134. Thomson Computer Press (1996) ISBN 1-85032-186-8Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    The ALGOL Bulletin,, currently not available, but can be found on the ACM portal
  14. 14.
    Swade, D.: Pioneer Profile: Ada Lovelace. Resurrection (53), 31–34 (2010)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 22/WG 23. Programming Language VulnerabilitiesGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Modified Report on the Algorithmic Language ALGOL 60. Computer Journal (1976)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Wichmann, B.A.: Computer Science has failed Software Engineering. OU talkGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Wichmann, B.A.: Programming Languages - Glories and Blunders. Talk for BCS G5 (April 2007)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Wichmann, B.A.: Before Moore’s Law. Resurrection (33), 19–24 (2004)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian Wichmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Formerly from the National Physical LaboratoryUK

Personalised recommendations