PL/I Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 
Author Message
 PL/I Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


(snip)

Quote:
>         It's a subset of PL/I, of course, because it had to fit
>         in 64K originally (I think).  There's the original manual too,
>  in MS Word 6 format, but as it's been scanned, it is incomplete.
>  Without an actual manual, I've taken it about as far as I can.

That doesn't seem a very good excuse.  PL/I (F) was designed to fit into
44K, to run on a 64K machine and leave 20K for the OS.  Now, it probably ran
very slow that way, so I probably wouldn't want to wait around for it to
finish a large program, but that was the design goal.

(snip)

Quote:
>      Originally, the new language was called "New Programming
>      Language", or NPL.  However, as these initials were
>      already taken by the National Physics Laboratory in
>      Britain, the name became PL/I (for Programming Language One).

This may be true, but I think New Programming Language isn't a very good
name.  While not true at the time, there are now US laws on how long you can
call something "new".  (Maybe other countries, too.)   Also, I would expect
laboratory name space and language name space to be disjoint, so it
shouldn't really bother anyone.

 There are a limited number of three letter names.  NPL is fine for a
temporary, or code name, though.  There are stories that the code names for
some of the 360 processors while they were being developed were similar to
other IBM machines, so that if someone overheard a discussion they would not
realize that it was a new machine being discussed.

Quote:
>      The new language contained features not then seen before in
>      a general-purpose programming language -- including interrupt
>      handling, array operations, list processing, and a macro
>      pre-processor.
> .
>      There is some controvesy over the name -- whether it is PL/I
>      or PL/1.  The first manuals (for the first compiler, the
>      IBM PL/I (F) compiler) called it PL/I, not PL/1. The ANSI
>      standard calls it PL/I.  The title of the first reference
>      manual is:
>      "IBM System 360 PL/I (F) Language Reference Manual", 1966.

(snip)

-- glen



Tue, 27 Dec 2005 00:22:04 GMT  
 PL/I Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Quote:



> (snip)

>>        It's a subset of PL/I, of course, because it had to fit
>>        in 64K originally (I think).  There's the original manual too,
>> in MS Word 6 format, but as it's been scanned, it is incomplete.
>> Without an actual manual, I've taken it about as far as I can.

> That doesn't seem a very good excuse.  PL/I (F) was designed to fit into
> 44K, to run on a 64K machine and leave 20K for the OS.  Now, it probably ran
> very slow that way, so I probably wouldn't want to wait around for it to
> finish a large program, but that was the design goal.

As a beta tester for PL/I (F) I don't recall any situation where we
tested the product in such a limited environment.  Typically PL/I (F)
was run on S/360-50 and -65 machines with 256K and 512K bytes
respectively (in our shop).  The compiler utilized many overlays.

The late Gary Kildall's PL/I compiler (Digital Research PL/I-80, the
basis of his Ph.D. thesis, by the way) was targeted for 8080- and
Z80-based personal computers. Those machines were pretty much limited to
64K.  The compiler utilized three passes followed by a separate
standalone linker.

When IBM introduced their 8086-based PC with M$-DOS as the operating
system, Digital Research quickly came out with PL/I-86. Due to a
combination of CPU architectural limitations and the porting from 8080
environment PL/I-86 continued to utilize a 64K program space and an
added 64K data space (64K being the maximum convenient addressing space
in the 8086).  It also generated code that was limited to a 64K program
space and a 64K data space.

By the time that newer Intel architectures and more capable operating
systems came about (80286 and beyond, and Windows) Digital Research was
already in financial decline and so no additional R&D effort was
possible for any of their products.  Consequently, PL/I and DRI's other
products including Turbo C, Pascal, Business BASIC, Display Manager,
etc. have remained frozen in time.

In its heyday, Digital Research's PL/I-80 out-benchmarked every other
higher-level language available for the 8080. The tests were run
independently by NSTL and published in a lead article in Byte Magazine
(NSTL and Byte were both owned by McGraw-Hill at the time).

I still use DRI PL/I-86 for a variety of pure DOS-based environments
(yes, there are still customers out there using DOS) where the machines
have limited RAM.  I use IBM personal PL/I in the MS-DOS/Windows
environments.

Quote:

> (snip)

>>     Originally, the new language was called "New Programming
>>     Language", or NPL.  However, as these initials were
>>     already taken by the National Physics Laboratory in
>>     Britain, the name became PL/I (for Programming Language One).

NPL -- PL/I was developed at IBM's Hursley Park research facility in
England so there was definitely name confusion within the U.K.  I am not
an expert on British intellectual property laws -- and I doubt if you
are either -- so speculation on these matters may be unwise.

- Show quoted text -

Quote:

> This may be true, but I think New Programming Language isn't a very good
> name.  While not true at the time, there are now US laws on how long you can
> call something "new".  (Maybe other countries, too.)   Also, I would expect
> laboratory name space and language name space to be disjoint, so it
> shouldn't really bother anyone.

>  There are a limited number of three letter names.  NPL is fine for a
> temporary, or code name, though.  There are stories that the code names for
> some of the 360 processors while they were being developed were similar to
> other IBM machines, so that if someone overheard a discussion they would not
> realize that it was a new machine being discussed.

>>     The new language contained features not then seen before in
>>     a general-purpose programming language -- including interrupt
>>     handling, array operations, list processing, and a macro
>>     pre-processor.
>>.
>>     There is some controvesy over the name -- whether it is PL/I
>>     or PL/1.  The first manuals (for the first compiler, the
>>     IBM PL/I (F) compiler) called it PL/I, not PL/1. The ANSI
>>     standard calls it PL/I.  The title of the first reference
>>     manual is:
>>     "IBM System 360 PL/I (F) Language Reference Manual", 1966.

> (snip)

> -- glen



Tue, 27 Dec 2005 02:11:55 GMT  
 PL/I Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Quote:
> NPL -- PL/I was developed at IBM's Hursley Park research facility in
> England so there was definitely name confusion within the U.K.  I am not
> an expert on British intellectual property laws -- and I doubt if you
> are either -- so speculation on these matters may be unwise.

> > This may be true, but I think New Programming Language isn't a very good
> > name.  While not true at the time, there are now US laws on how long you
can
> > call something "new".  (Maybe other countries, too.)   Also, I would
expect
> > laboratory name space and language name space to be disjoint, so it
> > shouldn't really bother anyone.

You are probably right.  I do know that Sun was forced to rename what used
to be called "yellow pages" to NIS because of a conflict with British laws.
Now, much of it was called YP, but I am pretty sure that much of the
documentation called it Yellow Pages.   It might be that if they stayed with
YP they would be safe.  Though telecommunications and networking tend to be
pretty close.  Still, computer languages and physics laboratories aren't so
close.

Still, with the limited number of three letter acronyms there must be some
law relating to the problem.

US trademark law doesn't allow trademarks of three digit numbers, such as
the Intel 486, which is why they changed to names (pentium) instead.  I
don't believe that Boeing has ever had a problem with their three digit
numbers, though.

-- glen



Tue, 27 Dec 2005 14:17:38 GMT  
 PL/I Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Quote:

>>NPL -- PL/I was developed at IBM's Hursley Park research facility in
>>England so there was definitely name confusion within the U.K.  I am not
>>an expert on British intellectual property laws -- and I doubt if you
>>are either -- so speculation on these matters may be unwise.

>>>This may be true, but I think New Programming Language isn't a very good
>>>name.  While not true at the time, there are now US laws on how long you

> can

>>>call something "new".  (Maybe other countries, too.)   Also, I would

> expect

>>>laboratory name space and language name space to be disjoint, so it
>>>shouldn't really bother anyone.

> You are probably right.  I do know that Sun was forced to rename what used
> to be called "yellow pages" to NIS because of a conflict with British laws.
> Now, much of it was called YP, but I am pretty sure that much of the
> documentation called it Yellow Pages.   It might be that if they stayed with
> YP they would be safe.  Though telecommunications and networking tend to be
> pretty close.  Still, computer languages and physics laboratories aren't so
> close.

> Still, with the limited number of three letter acronyms there must be some
> law relating to the problem.

> US trademark law doesn't allow trademarks of three digit numbers, such as
> the Intel 486, which is why they changed to names (pentium) instead.  I
> don't believe that Boeing has ever had a problem with their three digit
> numbers, though.

The US PTO (Patent & Trademark Office) does pidgeon-hole trademarks into
7 or 8 unique categories. Ignoring any trans-Atlantic treaties (of which
I am ignorant of) that may exist it would be possible in the U.S. to
have a piece of software named NPL Tools and have an automobile named
the NPL Belchfire and have a baseball bat named the NPL Slugger. The
respective holders may not like it, but they can't claim foul because
the PTO will maintain there is no market confusion.  (Note: that
confusion should not have existed in England between NPL the software
and NPL the laboratory -- but then again, British law is probably
different than U.S. law in this regard.)

Originally in the U.S., trademarks had to be original symbols and/or
unique words coined by the applicant (e.g., Kodak, Kleenex, Frigidaire,
etc.) to achieve registration.  Somewhere along the way, the PTO opened
the flood gates and started allowing generic words to achieve trademark
status.  I have in mind the obvious ones:  Windows, Office, Word,
Project, Access, Quattro, etc. (there are many others). I think this was
a bad precedent and allows companies to stake claim on common words in
the language.

I say all of this, not as an expert on the subject, but rather as a
layman who has managed to get a unique (coined)word trademarked and
registered in 4 of the 7 U.S. categories.

- Show quoted text -

Quote:

> -- glen



Tue, 27 Dec 2005 23:38:11 GMT  
 PL/I Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Quote:



> (snip)
>>        It's a subset of PL/I, of course, because it had to fit
>>        in 64K originally (I think).  There's the original manual too,
>> in MS Word 6 format, but as it's been scanned, it is incomplete.
>> Without an actual manual, I've taken it about as far as I can.
> That doesn't seem a very good excuse.  PL/I (F) was designed to fit into
> 44K, to run on a 64K machine and leave 20K for the OS.  Now, it probably ran
> very slow that way, so I probably wouldn't want to wait around for it to
> finish a large program, but that was the design goal.

Yes, but PL/I (F) used a spill file.  An MS-DOS-based 64KiB compiler
doesn't have that luxury.

Quote:
>>     Originally, the new language was called "New Programming
>>     Language", or NPL.  However, as these initials were
>>     already taken by the National Physics Laboratory in
>>     Britain, the name became PL/I (for Programming Language One).
> This may be true, but I think New Programming Language isn't a very good
> name.  While not true at the time, there are now US laws on how long you can
> call something "new".  (Maybe other countries, too.)   Also, I would expect
> laboratory name space and language name space to be disjoint, so it
> shouldn't really bother anyone.

It was a different culture then.  Many programming languages were coming
from research institutions, and the "NPL" name could easily have been
misunderstood.

--
John W. Kennedy
"Give up vows and dogmas, and fixed things, and you may grow like
That. ...you may come to think a blow bad, because it hurts, and not
because it humiliates.  You may come to think {*filter*} wrong, because
it is {*filter*}, and not because it is unjust."
    -- G. K. Chesterton.  "The Ball and the Cross"



Wed, 28 Dec 2005 02:18:21 GMT  
 PL/I Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Quote:

> As a beta tester for PL/I (F) I don't recall any situation where we
> tested the product in such a limited environment.

Maybe, but I, in fact, did run it on a 64KiB S/360-30.

--
John W. Kennedy
"Give up vows and dogmas, and fixed things, and you may grow like
That. ...you may come to think a blow bad, because it hurts, and not
because it humiliates.  You may come to think {*filter*} wrong, because
it is {*filter*}, and not because it is unjust."
    -- G. K. Chesterton.  "The Ball and the Cross"



Wed, 28 Dec 2005 02:19:57 GMT  
 PL/I Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Quote:

> > That doesn't seem a very good excuse.  PL/I (F) was designed to fit into
> > 44K, to run on a 64K machine and leave 20K for the OS.  Now, it probably ran
> > very slow that way, so I probably wouldn't want to wait around for it to
> > finish a large program, but that was the design goal.

> Yes, but PL/I (F) used a spill file.  An MS-DOS-based 64KiB compiler
> doesn't have that luxury.

Why not?  Many compilers (and other programs) used temporary files.
Slow, maybe, but workable.


Wed, 28 Dec 2005 22:41:26 GMT  
 PL/I Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Quote:


>>>That doesn't seem a very good excuse.  PL/I (F) was designed to fit into
>>>44K, to run on a 64K machine and leave 20K for the OS.  Now, it probably ran
>>>very slow that way, so I probably wouldn't want to wait around for it to
>>>finish a large program, but that was the design goal.

>>Yes, but PL/I (F) used a spill file.  An MS-DOS-based 64KiB compiler
>>doesn't have that luxury.

> Why not?  Many compilers (and other programs) used temporary files.
> Slow, maybe, but workable.

Spill files are accessed like page files (essentially, they _are_ page
files, but done the hard way in the absence of virtual-memory hardware).
  And no real-world 64KiB MS-DOS system would have had a hard disk.  A
straight port of PL/I (F) to MS-DOS, run in 64KiB without hard disks,
would take weeks or months to do a single compile -- if the spill
diskette didn't wear out first.

--
John W. Kennedy
"Give up vows and dogmas, and fixed things, and you may grow like
That. ...you may come to think a blow bad, because it hurts, and not
because it humiliates.  You may come to think {*filter*} wrong, because
it is {*filter*}, and not because it is unjust."
    -- G. K. Chesterton.  "The Ball and the Cross"



Thu, 29 Dec 2005 10:27:12 GMT  
 PL/I Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Quote:


>> As a beta tester for PL/I (F) I don't recall any situation where we
>> tested the product in such a limited environment.

> Maybe, but I, in fact, did run it on a 64KiB S/360-30.

In our shop the S/360-30s were used as I/O devices for the bigger iron
(-50s and -65s) and as such did not have 64KB.  They had just enough to
run the card-reader-punch and the line printer (and of course a couple
of tape drives).  As machines dedicated to I/O they were not available
for general computing so the opportunity to test PL/I-F in a 64KB
environment didn't exist for me.  I have not doubt that the compiler
could run quite successfully in that environment, though.


Thu, 29 Dec 2005 12:06:12 GMT  
 PL/I Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Quote:
>NPL -- PL/I was developed at IBM's Hursley Park research facility in
>England so there was definitely name confusion within the U.K.  I am
>not  an expert on British intellectual property laws -- and I doubt
>if you  are either -- so speculation on these matters may be
>unwise.

Not that unwise; it made the trade journals at the time. But am I the
only one to remember the name MPPL?

--
     Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz, SysProg and JOAT

Any unsolicited bulk E-mail will be subject to legal action.  I reserve the
right to publicly post or ridicule any abusive E-mail.

Reply to domain Patriot dot net user shmuel+news to contact me.  Do not reply



Sun, 01 Jan 2006 15:11:11 GMT  
 PL/I Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Quote:


>>NPL -- PL/I was developed at IBM's Hursley Park research facility in
>>England so there was definitely name confusion within the U.K.  I am
>>not  an expert on British intellectual property laws -- and I doubt
>>if you  are either -- so speculation on these matters may be
>>unwise.

> Not that unwise; it made the trade journals at the time. But am I the
> only one to remember the name MPPL?

I am certainly old enough that I should remember, but don't.  Enlighten us.


Mon, 02 Jan 2006 01:59:14 GMT  
 PL/I Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Quote:
>I am certainly old enough that I should remember, but don't.
>Enlighten us.

After national physics lab extorted IBM into dropping the name NPL,
IBM came up with the name multipurpose programming language (MPPL). I
can't recall anyone who didn't hate the name, and IBM quickly changed
it.

--
     Shmuel (Seymour J.) Metz, SysProg and JOAT

Any unsolicited bulk E-mail will be subject to legal action.  I reserve the
right to publicly post or ridicule any abusive E-mail.

Reply to domain Patriot dot net user shmuel+news to contact me.  Do not reply



Mon, 02 Jan 2006 12:58:27 GMT  
 PL/I Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Quote:


>>NPL -- PL/I was developed at IBM's Hursley Park research facility in
>>England so there was definitely name confusion within the U.K.  I am
>>not  an expert on British intellectual property laws -- and I doubt
>>if you  are either -- so speculation on these matters may be
>>unwise.

> Not that unwise; it made the trade journals at the time. But am I the
> only one to remember the name MPPL?

No.

--
John W. Kennedy
"Give up vows and dogmas, and fixed things, and you may grow like
That. ...you may come to think a blow bad, because it hurts, and not
because it humiliates.  You may come to think {*filter*} wrong, because
it is {*filter*}, and not because it is unjust."
    -- G. K. Chesterton.  "The Ball and the Cross"



Tue, 03 Jan 2006 03:11:01 GMT  
 
 [ 13 post ] 

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