The ALGOL 68 Programming Language

Published on 31 December 2018 (Updated: 02 May 2020)

The ALGOL 68 Programming Language

According to Wikipedia, ALGOL 68—also known as Algorithmic Language 68—is a successor to the ALGOL 60 language. As the name suggests, ALGOL 68 first appeared in 1968 as an imperative programming language.

That said, ALGOL 68 has a much wider scope than ALGOL 60. For instance, ALGOL 68 includes user-declared types, expression-based syntax, concurrency, and even slicing.

Of course, I think the most interesting language feature is the overwhelming list of reserved words which includes 60 different symbols. Most of these symbols I couldn’t even guess their purpose. For example, what do you think esac does? How about ouse? James Jones offers a great explanation.

In general though, I find that most of the symbols are pretty typical. Many of which provide either control flow or iteration. Meanwhile, others provide typing. So, overall the language seems pretty tame. Feel free to check out the Wikipedia page for the full syntax and features list.


Further Reading