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Download ACM Turing Award Lectures : The First Twenty Years : 1966 to by Susan Graham and Robert Ashenhurst (Edited and Introduction PDF

By Susan Graham and Robert Ashenhurst (Edited and Introduction by)

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Extra info for ACM Turing Award Lectures : The First Twenty Years : 1966 to 1985 (ACM Press Anthology Series)

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W Dijkstra. As a result of a long sequence of coincidences I entered the programming profession officially on the first spring morning of 1952, and as far as I have been able to trace, I was the first Dutchman to do so in my country. In retrospect the most amazing thing is the slowness with which, at least in my part of the world, the programming profession emerged, a slowness which is now hard to believe. But I am grateful for two vivid recollections from that period that established that slowness beyond any doubt.

The performance of such actions clearly implies that certain pieces of a text are understood to be variable. Again we accomplish this by declaration, by initialization and by assignment. , by input, to be added to that of x and the result assigned as the value of s. We observe that t may have been entered and stored as a form. The operation + can then only be accomplished after a suitable transfer function shall have been applied. The fact that a partial translation of the expression is all that can be done at the classical "translate time" should not deter us.

These rules are of two kinds. Those of the first kind are easily imposed mechanically, viz. by a suitably chosen programming language. Examples are the exclusion of go-to statements and of procedures with more than one output parameter. For those of the second kind, I at least-but that may be due to lack of competence on my side-see no way of imposing them mechanically, as it seems to need some sort of automatic theorem prover for which I have no existence proof. Therefore, for the time being and perhaps forever, the rules of the second kind present themselves as elements of discipline required from the programmer.

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