Wirth Languages

Languages developed by NiklausWirth, an internationally famous specialist in programming-language design and implementation, most closely associated with ETH Zurich in Switzerland .

One commentator suggested, in a manner that suggested sarcasm, that the list be broadened: "Or: languages that look as if they were developed by NiklausWirth". However, all of the languages listed were indeed developed by Wirth.

Wirth's language designs:

More information is available at http://www.inf.ethz.ch/~wirth/projects.html.

Is PL360 different from PL/1?

A respondent answered the question of PL360 vs. PL/I with a simple "Yes". Actually, the question deserves an energetic "Hell, yes!" in reply. PL360 is a very simple and straightforward language, consistent with its very modest goals. PL/I is a notoriously complicated language, whose best rivals for complexity may be Ada, Algol 68, or C++.

Wirth also consulted during the development of the CedarLanguage? at XeroxParc (which was the basis for the Oberon system), and ModulaTwo + and ModulaThree at Digital. And, I am told, on Apple's ObjectPascal, first on the Lisa and later for the Mac.

I was told by someone who attended Wirth classes in Switzerland that Wirth complained about modern languages like CeePlusPlus and JavaLanguage, because those languages didn't get it. He said that NiklausWirth made funny remarks about modern languages and that students laughed, but not at his jokes, but at him, because how could all those modern languages be all wrong? I think there is still something we didn't get about Wirth ideas an specially about PascalLanguage. Only in SmalltalkLanguage you get the same feeling that the program doesn't take too long to compile. In Java the time it takes is not so bad, but in Pascal it was even better. About C++, I can say that I agree wholeheartedly because it is not ObjectOriented, and it is easier to produce buggy code than correct code. I have the feeling that in Pascal I never got so much buggy code as in C++. Even Smalltalk is much better at producing less buggy code. -- OneUnhappyCppLanguageProgrammer?

Maybe your Pascal code was relatively bug free, but everyone else in the world sure cranked out buggy Pascal. Also I notice one strong similarity between Pascal and C++: in both cases, a lot of programming consists of fighting the language, rather than on focusing on the algorithm.

C++ and Java don't get "what", exactly? Comparing Smalltalk with Pascal is interesting - if not humorous - given that the two languages are opposites of each other in so many ways. StaticTyping vs DynamicTyping. BondageAndDiscipline vs limitless flexibility. Block-structured procedural with full LexicalScoping vs OO without (other than SmalltalkBlocks?). A traditional EditCompileLinkRun language vs an ImageBasedLanguage.

On the other hand, pascal and smalltalk both have small grammars that are easily implemented with recursive descent parsers. Both designs sought to capturing the essense of computation so that it could be more easily experienced by others. Interestingly, pascal allowed one to program in the context of a (possibly dynamic) structure using the "with" statement and thus anticipated object-oriented programming. -- WardCunningham

C++ not ObjectOriented? While it certainly isn't a pure OO language; it does support the OO paradigm. See DefinitionsForOo and IsCeePlusPlusObjectOriented for this particular HolyWar. -- ScottJohnson

CategoryProgrammingLanguage CategoryAlgol CategoryPascal

Note that "BondageAndDiscipline" is an exonym by non Wirthian programmers (and many that lack even proper experience to judge it). The same with the remark about Pascal not being used as system language C systems. At least in Europe Pascal had supplanted Algol as system language long before C escaped its Unix beginnings. Yes, C took over, but that is something else as never being used as such.

Contrast with "wirthless languages" ;-)

EditText of this page (last edited September 26, 2012) or FindPage with title or text search