"the alphabet," late 13c., abece. Sense "rudiments or fundamentals (of a subject)" is from late 14c. From 1944 (in a "Billboard" headline) as a shortening of American Broadcasting Company. Related: ABCs.
1. Atanasoff-Berry Computer. 2. An imperative language and programming environment from CWI, Netherlands. It is interactive, structured, high-level, and easy to learn and use. It is a general-purpose language which you might use instead of BASIC, Pascal or AWK. It is not a systems-programming language but is good for teaching or prototyping. ABC has only five data types that can easily be combined; strong typing, yet without declarations; data limited only by memory; refinements to support top-down programming; nesting by indentation. Programs are typically around a quarter the size of the equivalent Pascal or C program, and more readable. ABC includes a programming environment with syntax-directed editing, suggestions, persistent variables and multiple workspaces and infinite precision arithmetic. An example function words to collect the set of all words in a document: HOW TO RETURN words document: PUT IN collection FOR line in document: FOR word IN split line: IF word not.in collection: INSERT word IN collection RETURN collection Interpreter/compiler, version 1.04.01, by Leo Geurts, Lambert Meertens, Steven Pemberton . ABC has been ported to Unix, MS-DOS, Atari, Macintosh. (http://cwi.nl/cwi/projects/abc.html). FTP eu.net (ftp://ftp.eu.net/programming/languages/abc), FTP nluug.nl (ftp://ftp.nluug.nl/programming/languages/abc), FTP uunet (ftp://ftp.uu.net/languages/abc). Mailing list: . E-mail: . ["The ABC Programmer's Handbook" by Leo Geurts, Lambert Meertens and Steven Pemberton, published by Prentice-Hall (ISBN 0-13-000027-2)]. ["An Alternative Simple Language and Environment for PCs" by Steven Pemberton, IEEE Software, Vol. 4, No. 1, January 1987, pp. 56-64.] (1995-02-09) 2. Argument, Basic value, C?. An abstract machine for implementation of functional languages and its intermediate code. [P. Koopman, "Functional Programs as Executable Specifications", 1990]. (1995-02-09)