bcpl

Slang Dictionary

BCPL

// n. [abbreviation, `Basic Combined Programming Language') A programming language developed by Martin Richards in Cambridge in 1967. It is remarkable for its rich syntax, small size of compiler (it can be run in 16k) and extreme portability. It reached break-even point at a very early stage, and was the language in which the original hello world program was written. It has been ported to so many different systems that its creator confesses to having lost count. It has only one data type (a machine word) which can be used as an integer, a character, a floating point number, a pointer, or almost anything else, depending on context. BCPL was a precursor of C, which inherited some of its features.
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Computing Dictionary

BCPL definition

language
(Basic CPL) A British systems language developed by Richards in 1969 and descended from CPL (Combined Programming Language). BCPL is low-level, typeless and block-structured, and provides only one-dimensional arrays. Case is not significant, but conventionally reserved words begin with a capital. Flow control constructs include: If-Then, Test-Then-Else, Unless-Do, While-Do, Until-Do, Repeat, Repeatwhile, Repeatuntil, For-to-By-Do, Loop, Break and Switchon-Into-Case-Default-Endcase. BCPL has conditional expressions, pointers, and manifest constants. It has both procedures: 'Let foo(bar) Be command' and functions: 'Let foo(bar) = expression'. 'Valof $(..Resultis..$)' causes a compound command to produce a value. Parameters are call-by-value.
Program segments communicate via the global vector where system and user variables are stored in fixed numerical locations in a single array.
The first BCPL compiler was written in AED. BCPL was used to implement the TRIPOS operating system, which was subsequently reincarnated as AmigaDOS.
["BCPL - The Language and its Compiler", Martin Richards & Colin Whitby-Stevens, Cambridge U Press 1979].
See OCODE, INTCODE.
Oxford BCPL differed slightly: Test-Ifso-Ifnot, and section brackets in place of $( $).
The original INTCODE interpreter for BCPL is available for Amiga, Unix, MS-DOS (ftp://wuarchive.wustl.edu/systems/amiga/programming/languages/BCPL/).
A BCPL compiler bootstrap kit with an INTCODE interpreter in C was written by Ken Yap ken@syd.dit.csiro.au.
(1995-03-26)
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
BCPL
Basic Combined Programming Language
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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