Author Message

Scott Wheeler asks...

> Robin,  the  CPL  you keep  mentioning  -  is it  the  same  as  the
> (unfinished?)  ancestor of BCPL, and are there any books extant  on
> it?

CPL,   which   stood   for   "Combined   Programming   Language",   or
"Christopher's Programming Language" was indeed the ancestor of  BCPL.
The combination  alluded  to was  Oxbridge,  and the  Christopher  was
Strachey. I don't  know what info  is extant  - I knew  about it  from
having heard Strachey et.al.  talk about it,  and from Rod  Burstall's
experience with the implementation. There may be some stuff around  in


Fri, 22 Mar 1996 19:25:00 GMT  

> Scott Wheeler asks...

>> Robin,  the  CPL  you keep  mentioning  -  is it  the  same  as  the
>> (unfinished?)  ancestor of BCPL, and are there any books extant  on
>> it?

CPL, developed in the early 1960's, is an imperative language with a pure
functional subset. Within an ALGOL60-like imperative framework,
CPL also provides the ...where...  form of local definitions, which,
its authors say, gives it equivalent expressive power to the lambda
calculus. CPL conditional expressions use a form of the
if...then...else...  notation. CPL is strongly typed but has a general
type which enables a weak form of polymorphism. CPL has constructs for defining
functions to be either normal or applicative order. CPL provides typed array
and polymorphic list structures. List selection is through structure matching.

For more details see: Barron, Buxton, Hartley, Nixon & Strachey,
                      The main features of CPL,
                      Computer Journal
                      Vol 6, pp 134-43, 1963

Mon, 25 Mar 1996 22:04:17 GMT  
Message written at Fri Oct  8 08:19:36 BST 1993

I still have my CPL manual...  The compiler was archived at Cambridge in 1969.  
I believe that the last person to run a program on it was Robin Fairbairns,
now back in the Cambridge Lab after working for LaserScan.  It was supposed
to be the only language for Titan (Atlas 2) but for a variety of reasons
everyone wrote in assembler or fortran3.  Then came BCPL with Martin Richard's
return from MIT (1969 I think) and .......


Tue, 26 Mar 1996 18:11:08 GMT  
 [ 3 post ] 

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