Algol programming language

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Algol is a computer programming language originally developed in 1958, which was named for the algorithmic process of definition of a programming problem. It is short for Algorithmic Language. In some ways, it was a reaction to Fortran and was a precursor to Pascal. It uses words to bracket blocks and was the first to use begin end pairs.

There were three main official versions of Algol: Algol 58, Algol 60, and Algol 68. Of these, Algol 60 was by far the most influential. (Algol 60 produced Algol W, which in turn produced Pascal.) Each of the official Algol versions is named after the year in which it was published.

Algol was developed jointly by a committee of European and American computer scientists. It had at least three different syntaxes: a reference syntax, a publication syntax, and an implementation syntax. The different syntaxes permitted it to use different keyword names, conventions for decimal points (commas vs. periods) for different languages.

John Backus developed the Backus Normal Form method of describing programming languages specifically for Algol 58. It was revised and expanded by Peter Naur to the Backus Naur Form for Algol 68.

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