Multilingual programming (was Re: Litton Industries Monrobot XI computers available)

From: Dwight K. Elvey <>
Date: Wed Feb 26 19:31:00 2003

>In message <>, Hans B Pufal writes:
>>Unlike BASIC, PAF was designed so that its
>>key words could be easily changed to different languages and on the fly
>>during one progam, a feature I have not seen in any other language.

 I thought I'd mentioned that it is not entirely true that
no other computer language can be converted to another language.
Not being a natural language, Forth, can easily be converted
to any standard text type language and there has even been
efforts to convert to Chinese( not text type ). Since Forth
has its own rules on noun/verb/object order, the language
that it uses is not important.
 This is unlike most languages because most use complex precedence
rules( LISP being another exception ). One can not fully overload
the + operation in languages like 'C' because it would end up
looking like +( a, b ) instead of a + b.
 I know of at least one German Forth and work in progress on
a Chinese Forth ( issues are mainly entering and displaying
characters ). Both of these can be source files loaded
from an English ( or other language ) Forth to completely change
the Forth. One can even have both at the same time and switch
back and forth. Heck, One might even have three languages or
more to select from. One's imagination is the limit( and real

>At the 1981 National Computer Conference (US), Grace Hopper told
>a story about the A0 compiler she and her collegues did on the
>UNIVAC. Part of the motivation for this program was to settle
>the question of whether a computer could write a program for
>itself. So the thing we now understand to be a programming
>language was made as close to a natural language as they were
>able to do at the time. Every statement consisted of a subject
>a verb and an object followed by a period. (You can probably
>begin to see how this work influenced the development of COBOL.)
>Anyway, to demonstrate the flexibility of this technique, they
>had both English and German versions. However, since it was a
>US military sponsored project and since it was rather soon after
>WWII, the German version caused a minor freak-out on the part of
>some of the military brass. It was quickly shoved in a corner
>and was lost in the mists of time.
>Brian L. Stuart
Received on Wed Feb 26 2003 - 19:31:00 GMT

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