A plan to help TC39 become more open up to community contributions and participations

Bob Myers rtm at gol.com
Wed Jun 15 21:12:03 UTC 2016

If you are referring to the standard ECMA-2 for a subset of ALGOL 60, this
was not a "standard for a programming language", but rather for a
particular ill-advised crippling of ALGOL, which not only removed `own`
(sort of static) variables, but much more importantly removed the key
feature of recursion, and bizarrely made identifiers unique only up to six
characters (!), probably at the behest of some manufacturer that had 6-byte
words, allowing them to claim that their implementation was "conformant" to
this truncated "standard". Hardly one of their best moments.

I have fond memories of ALGOL, in which I wrote a symbolic differentiation
program one summer during high school, on a B8500 machine at Case Institute
of Technology.

I will leave it up to historians to confirm that ALGOL was never
standardized by a standards body; there was just the iconic "Report on the
Algorithmic Language ALGOL 60".


On Thu, Jun 16, 2016 at 2:13 AM, Isiah Meadows <isiahmeadows at gmail.com>

> Didn't know that. Nice to know! :-)
> On Wed, Jun 15, 2016, 11:48 Allen Wirfs-Brock <allen at wirfs-brock.com>
> wrote:
>> On Jun 14, 2016, at 8:57 PM, Isiah Meadows <isiahmeadows at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>> Just an educated guess (I'm not actually involved in any part of this
>> effort - just a random person subscribed to this list), but I think it's
>> because of ECMA itself. Granted, TC39 has already noted that this one
>> doesn't exactly fit well with the rest of their framework, because of the
>> constant and frequent input, and because the software industry moves a lot
>> faster than the hardware and electrical engineering industries (that's most
>> of what ECMA deals with).
>> Note that Ecma has a long history of developing software related
>> standards. In fact the second standard issued by Ecma was for a programming
>> language.
>> http://www.ecma-international.org/publications/standards/Standardwithdrawn.htm
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