PL/I vs. PL/1 
Author Message
 PL/I vs. PL/1

The name of the language is PL/I (Programming Language I -- Roman I) in all
cases, no matter whether you are talking about IBM, Honeywell, ANSI, or
whatever. Perhaps IBM thought that there might someday be a PL/II; perhaps
they just liked the official-sounding name. It's first name was "NPL", for
New Programming Language. I kind of like that one; too bad it didn't stick.
The UK is full of towns whose second-oldest street is named "New Street", so
if they can have streets that are hundreds of years old named "new", we
certainly could have had a programming language with that name.

I suppose the official reference for the name of the language these days
would be ANSI X3.53 or X3.74 (full PL/I and subset PL/I, respectively); q.v.
at www.ansi.org.

IBM abbreviated the name of their compiler "pli", as you say.  Multics
abbreviated it "pl1". When the vote came up for the PL/I newsgroup, there
was quite a debate as to whether it should be named "comp.sys.pli" or
"comp.sys.pl1"....

A lot of time has been wasted over the years debating this subject, and
getting the manuals and whatnot consistent. I wish IBM had just named it
"PL/1". It would have been so much easier.

PG

Quote:


>> The language was called PL/I (Roman), but the command to invoke it was
>> "pl1" (arabic).  ALL of the Honeywell documentation, every bit of it,
>> refers to the language as "PL/I", even the GCOS stuff.  (I just checked
>> copies of the PL/I Language Spec, PL/I Reference Manual, and the GCOS
PL/I
>> manual, too.)

>But I stand by the rhetoric.  I recall some CISLian, perhaps Paul Green
>or RBarnes, indulging in an impromptu diatribe on the subject, but since
>this would be sometime between 1978 and 1986, it's pretty well shrouded
>in the mists by now.  Anyone want to confess?  Or remember better?

>Although "pli" was "print_link_info" on Multics, I think I recall typing
>"pli" at either TSO or CMS during the times I was forced to use the IBM
>implementation



Mon, 10 Jun 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 PL/I vs. PL/1

Quote:

> The name of the language is PL/I (Programming Language I -- Roman I) in all
> cases, no matter whether you are talking about IBM, Honeywell, ANSI, or
> whatever. Perhaps IBM thought that there might someday be a PL/II; perhaps
> they just liked the official-sounding name. It's first name was "NPL", for
> New Programming Language. I kind of like that one; too bad it didn't stick.

The abbreviation was already in use for the National Physical Laboratory
(or was it Physics?).

Quote:
> The UK is full of towns whose second-oldest street is named "New Street", so
> if they can have streets that are hundreds of years old named "new",

Not to mention "New York".
Quote:
> we
> certainly could have had a programming language with that name.

> I suppose the official reference for the name of the language these days
> would be ANSI X3.53 or X3.74 (full PL/I and subset PL/I, respectively); q.v.
> at www.ansi.org.

> PG



Tue, 11 Jun 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 PL/I vs. PL/1

Quote:

> It's first name was "NPL", for
> New Programming Language. I kind of like that one; too bad it didn't stick.

The United Kingdom's National Physical Laboratories objected.  The next
try was MPPL (Multi-Purpose Programming Language) -- they took one look
at that and had the inventor taken out and shot.  Then came PL/I.

--
-John W. Kennedy

Compact is becoming contract
Man only earns and pays.  -- Charles Williams



Tue, 11 Jun 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 PL/I vs. PL/1

Quote:

> The name of the language is PL/I (Programming Language I -- Roman I) in all
> cases, no matter whether you are talking about IBM, Honeywell, ANSI, or
> whatever. Perhaps IBM thought that there might someday be a PL/II; perhaps
> they just liked the official-sounding name.

I remember reading that IBM had trademarked names up to 99.

I womder what they planned to call that last one -- PL/CIC?  PL/99?
Alas, we'll never know.

Art Evans



Tue, 11 Jun 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 PL/I vs. PL/1

mailed it to me but was unable to successfully post it to the newsgroups.
John is the chairman of the X3 standards committee for PL/I, and a colleague
of mine from when we both worked on Multics. In fact, John has the (dubious)
distinction of being the first person to take me to task for installing
untested (and hence buggy) code into a commercial product. I can still hear
his voice at the other end of the phone carefully and distinctively
explaining the impact of my carelessness on his product. At the time it
didn't occur to me that he was teaching me a lifelong lesson. I eventually
saw it as just that, the memory of it has motivated me to do better ever
since.

PG

--On Thursday, 23 December, 1999 15:41 -0500 Paul Green

Quote:

> The name of the language is PL/I (Programming Language I --
> Roman I) in all cases, no matter whether you are talking about
> IBM, Honeywell, ANSI, or whatever. Perhaps IBM thought that
> there might someday be a PL/II; perhaps they just liked the
> official-sounding name.

I was told about the time I got involved with the standards
committee that IBM had, at one point. trademarked PL/I, PL/II,
PL/III,.. PL/n for some fairly large (Roman) value of n and then
released at least the first one to ANSI and ECMA.  Never checked
on this, might be urban legend.

Quote:
> It's first name was "NPL", for New
> Programming Language. I kind of like that one; too bad it
> didn't stick.

There was a cognitive conflict with the UK's National Physical
Laboratory, who were, if I recall, expecting to be  major users
(as well as major customers of IBM and others).

Quote:
> The UK is full of towns whose second-oldest
> street is named "New Street", so if they can have streets that
> are hundreds of years old named "new", we certainly could have
> had a programming language with that name.
> I suppose the official reference for the name of the language
> these days would be ANSI X3.53 or X3.74 (full PL/I and subset
> PL/I, respectively); q.v. at www.ansi.org.

Technically X3.53-1976 (R[eaffirmed several times])  and
X3.76-1987 (R}.   Most recent reaffirmation dates for both are
within the last two years (I've lost track).   These are,
respectively, ISO IS 6160 and 6522; the latter is known in
ANSI-land as "PL/I General Purpose Subset" and in ISO as
"General Purpose PL/I".

Quote:
> IBM abbreviated the name of their compiler "pli", as you say.
> Multics abbreviated it "pl1". When the vote came up for the
> PL/I newsgroup, there was quite a debate as to whether it
> should be named "comp.sys.pli" or "comp.sys.pl1"....
> A lot of time has been wasted over the years debating this
> subject, and getting the manuals and whatnot consistent. I
> wish IBM had just named it "PL/1". It would have been so much
> easier.

Might have been even easier had the design committee stuck with
their original charge and called it "fortran" :-)

    john



Fri, 14 Jun 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 PL/I vs. PL/1

Quote:
> I was told about the time I got involved with the standards
> committee that IBM had, at one point. trademarked PL/I, PL/II,
> PL/III,.. PL/n for some fairly large (Roman) value of n and then
> released at least the first one to ANSI and ECMA.  Never checked
> on this, might be urban legend.

For what it's worth, Fred P. Brooks, Jr., my thesis advisor, told
this story (or repeated it). The number n was 99. The purpose was
not that they actually intended on using anything beyond I (or II
or III, maybe), but to preempt another comptuer vendor from using
PL/something-other-than-I. It was related in a "if you think that
was stupid, then you'll never believe this next thing" manner, so
I can't say what I heard was definitive first source information,
but apparently Brooks believed it sufficiently to joke about it.

--
WB



Fri, 14 Jun 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 PL/I vs. PL/1

Quote:
> Might have been even easier had the design committee stuck with
> their original charge and called it "FORTRAN" :-)

oops.
ForTran is not an acronym.
It's a contraction  --  Formula Translator.

Jonesy

--
Marvin L. Jones  jonz-AT-rmi.net  W3DHJ
Gunnison, Colorado
4 days to go until the Year 2000 -- So what!
370 days to go until the 3rd Millennium of the C.E.



Fri, 14 Jun 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 PL/I vs. PL/1

Quote:

> > I was told about the time I got involved with the standards
> > committee that IBM had, at one point. trademarked PL/I, PL/II,
> > PL/III,.. PL/n for some fairly large (Roman) value of n and then
> > released at least the first one to ANSI and ECMA.  Never checked
> > on this, might be urban legend.

> For what it's worth, Fred P. Brooks, Jr., my thesis advisor, told
> this story (or repeated it). The number n was 99. The purpose was
> not that they actually intended on using anything beyond I (or II
> or III, maybe), but to preempt another comptuer vendor from using
> PL/something-other-than-I. It was related in a "if you think that
> was stupid, then you'll never believe this next thing" manner, so
> I can't say what I heard was definitive first source information,
> but apparently Brooks believed it sufficiently to joke about it.

I doubt that they really trademarked all of these names because for CP6
Honeywell used PL6 as the name for the PL/I dialect they used as a
system programming language (I don't remember how they spelled it but
similar spellings run into trademark violations).


Sat, 15 Jun 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 PL/I vs. PL/1

Quote:


> mailed it to me but was unable to successfully post it to the newsgroups.

I believe that the quoted material below is John's rather than Paul's:

Quote:
> I was told about the time I got involved with the standards
> committee that IBM had, at one point. trademarked PL/I, PL/II,
> PL/III,.. PL/n for some fairly large (Roman) value of n and then
> released at least the first one to ANSI and ECMA.  Never checked
> on this, might be urban legend.

The news accounts at the time reported it as "PL/1" through "PL/99";
arabic rather than roman numerals. AFAIK it was ANSI rather than IBM
that decided to make it PL/I rather than PL/1.

Quote:
> There was a cognitive conflict with the UK's National Physical
> Laboratory, who were, if I recall, expecting to be  major users
> (as well as major customers of IBM and others).

Didn't the same objection apply to APL? Oh, well, at least they dropped
the abortive MPPL name.

Quote:
>     john

--

Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz
Reply to host nsf (dot) gov, user smetz



Sat, 15 Jun 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 PL/I vs. PL/1
That's funny. What's the first?
Quote:
> The "New River" in West {*filter*}ia is the second oldest river in the
> world.



Sat, 15 Jun 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 PL/I vs. PL/1
Correct.
Quote:


> > Might have been even easier had the design committee stuck with
> > their original charge and called it "FORTRAN" :-)

> oops.
> ForTran is not an acronym.
> It's a contraction  --  Formula Translator.

> Jonesy

> --
> Marvin L. Jones  jonz-AT-rmi.net  W3DHJ
> Gunnison, Colorado
> 4 days to go until the Year 2000 -- So what!
> 370 days to go until the 3rd Millennium of the C.E.



Sun, 16 Jun 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 PL/I vs. PL/1
The "New River" in West {*filter*}ia is the second oldest river in the
world.
Quote:


> > The name of the language is PL/I (Programming Language I -- Roman I) in all
> > cases, no matter whether you are talking about IBM, Honeywell, ANSI, or
> > whatever. Perhaps IBM thought that there might someday be a PL/II; perhaps
> > they just liked the official-sounding name. It's first name was "NPL", for
> > New Programming Language. I kind of like that one; too bad it didn't stick.

> The abbreviation was already in use for the National Physical Laboratory
> (or was it Physics?).

> > The UK is full of towns whose second-oldest street is named "New Street", so
> > if they can have streets that are hundreds of years old named "new",

> Not to mention "New York".

> > we
> > certainly could have had a programming language with that name.

> > I suppose the official reference for the name of the language these days
> > would be ANSI X3.53 or X3.74 (full PL/I and subset PL/I, respectively); q.v.
> > at www.ansi.org.

> > PG



Mon, 17 Jun 2002 03:00:00 GMT  
 
 [ 12 post ] 

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