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Re: I. M. John W. Backus

From: Bruce C. Baker <bcbakerXX_at_cox.net>
Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2007 19:15:01 -0500
Message-ID: <QTjMh.10911$Ng1.9740@newsfe19.lga>

"Bob Badour" <bbadour_at_pei.sympatico.ca> wrote in message news:mDjMh.13375$PV3.138160_at_ursa-nb00s0.nbnet.nb.ca...

>
> It's odd that the obit got things so wrong. Fortran is a monstrosity --
> one of those abominable things that was just good enough. It's greatest
> achievement was to show how not to write a compiler. Backus more than
> redeemed himself a few years later by learning from fortran how to write a
> compiler when he and Peter Naur came up with BNF.

Compared to the languages and techniques we have today, the design and implementation of the original Fortran (and C, and Pascal, and ...) are pretty lame, but /compared to what preceded them/, they weren't half bad.

Getting back on topic, one might even go so far as to say that SQL is the Fortran of its day.

How about seasoning your future comments with a little dash of historical perspective, Bob?

>
> Fortran should be a side-note to BNF and not vice versa.
>
> (BNF is a very big contribution--more than enough to share.)
Received on Wed Mar 21 2007 - 19:15:01 CDT

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