Oberon-2 Programming with Windows

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This was from when chips were not dense enough to fit a whole processor into one die. After doing a tiny bit of reading, it seems in early minicomputer days bit-slice processors weren't an exotic technology at the time. I wonder why people didn't combine 16 chips to create bit processors.

Or did they? That was not a time where there was demand for 64 bit processors not surprisingly.


I would guess making floating point perform on bit sliced processors has its challenges, too. Probably cost and performance. When you string more of these chips together, the propagation delay increases which means your clock speed must be inversely.

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They did. That was the whole point. Most designs were bit but there was nothing to stop you going to bit, floating point etc etc. Not only it is well written with clear explanations, but it also includes the full source code for the compiler and operating system in less than pages! I learned some interesting compiler techniques from reading that book.

Franz mentions Wirth's metric for compiler quality: Speed of self compilation. I first heard this idea, in a slightly different form, from Vickie Markstein part of IBM's team in early ' She suggested using this idea as an acid test for optimizations. For example, if the compiler with value numbering compiled itself faster than the compiler without value numbering, then she'd say value numbering was worthwhile.

Given the organization of the team, it's possible the idea was due to John Cocke or one of the other members. Doesn't matter much, I think. For those interested, you can find the latest Oberon system by Prof. If you just want to play with the Oberon language the one used to implement the whole system , there are several compilers available for different platforms.

Koshkin on Nov 15, It seems it would be hard to make Oberon the language to play well with "foreign" environments, such as the Java VM and the library. How does one implement interfaces, for example? Yes a custom foreign function interface is needed. In my compiler I did the bare minimum to bootstrap the compiler. Currently you can create a definition module that makes the bridge between the Java and Oberon worlds.

It sets the compiler in a different mode, accepting only declarations in the source file. You approach would work, but I prefer a new keyword showing the intent of the source file. As an os, Oberon could be a cool alternative. One wonders if intel considered it for ME in place of minix.

Free compilers for the Modula 2 language

Bluebottle OS, which introduced the variant known as Active Oberon, made use of multithreading in form of active objects, a concept similar to goroutines. Its compiler Paco, is one of the first multithreaded compilers I know of. SSL was not yet a thing when Oberon was popular in the mid's, so I don't remember if the browser of the time supported it. Network programming was a mix of Ethernet and Oberon own protocols, there was support for network printing and file shares. All books that Wirth wrote about Oberon were written using the text editors of the OS. Is it me or does that emulator seem like you can't click in the upper right corner?

It looks like there's a box there but I can't click it. I had once tried rebuilding an Oberon compiler and the standard library using itself - all from the sources. I will never forget this - it only took 0. Having said that, the language goes a bit too far trying to be "as simple as possible but not too simple", at least to my taste -- in a way that Go seems to be, only much more so.

It also looks verbose - especially compared to C. MaysonL on Nov 16, I think if you look at it in context of the entire Oberon operating environment, it makes a certain amount of sense. While everything is written in Oberon, it seems to me that the average user would essentially be using oberon for roughly what shell scripts and AppleScript is used for: I. Basically modules are loaded dynamically and any procedure that obeys to a specific signature could be called from the UI, via keyboard and mouse like the ACME editor on Plan 9.

The way they get their input, depends on the signature.


Oberon-2 Programming with Windows

It could be like command line parameters, clipboard, or any selected UI element in another application. Xeoncross on Nov 15, A language where uppercase keywords are the norm sounds like it would lead to RSI. Then again, we would probably have typescript, coffeescript, etc.. The Pascal language is not case sensitive, nor, as far as I know, are any of its variants. From "The Oberon Programming Language"[0]: "Capital and lower-case letters are considered as being distinct These reserved words consist exclusively of capital letters and cannot be used in the role of identifiers".

So it seems that keywords do need to be in all-caps, at least if your compiler is compatible with Wirth's description the standard? It is very common to see these languages typeset with uppercase keywords, though, but a lot of that certainly was the monochrome alternative to syntax-highlighting Pascal was developed at a time when you couldn't count on both upper case and lower case being available. I learned it on a Control Data Cyber 6-bit character set using Teletypes. Development in a language like that, you quickly start using editor macros.

Even simple things like Emacs abbrev mode is enough to remove the vast majority of shift usage. Never heard of auto-formatting editors? Does the first row of your keyboard really have a U after the Q? Does the layout of the letters matter in an argument against using the shift key? This is why the capslock key was invented. At least on new devices like tablets which don't have to keep backward compatibility. Santosh83 on Nov 15, How would a large company or community project be able to recruit hundreds of programmers well versed in these languages?

They were commercially motivated, and hobbyist beginnings.

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And once you already have a big body of code That is the general principle that businesses operate on. They condition of their legacy stacks is usually bad, too, with lots of poorly-thought design. Some companies such as Jane St claim hiring people who can quickly pick up unusual languages leads to staff that's better at problem-solving in general. Unlike them, the Oberon and Pascal languages were designed to be simpler than what's currently standard for educational purposes.

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If you know an imperative language, you should be able to learn an Oberon dialect about as fast as you can read the syntax. Still a really, niche player for sure but it did. They'll certainly pick up the language s with no trouble at all. Uehreka on Nov 16, Those languages are simple to learn. And it's not necessarily about the language anyway.

Also, two of those three operating systems were developed by couple dozen people at most, so you shouldn't need hundreds of programmers, as long as the ones you have are competent. Anybody know when this was written?

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The latest citation is from , and it talks about Oberon being 10 years old. It also talks about JIT for Java being a "current trend". Unfortunately I don't see any sign of that. The actual trend seems to be in the opposite direction. Published in What about FOR loops, not implemented in the original Oberon?

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Many people like the clunky syntax of Wirth's languages, and have been exceedingly productive in those languages. There's Borland's ObjectPascal products, of course from Turbo to Delphi , which were extremely successful for many years and still survive today. Pascal is nowhere as popular today as in its heyday, but there are people still using Delphi as well as Lazarus, a modern open-source Pascal implementation that's compatible with Delphi.

One of the most popular languages right now, Go, is heavily influenced by Modula and Oberon. Go is more complex, and opts for a more C-like syntax, but many of its concepts come directly from those languages. Another nascent language with a heavy ObjectPascal influence is Nim which was created by a former ObjectPascaler.

Ada is another Pascal dialect that is far from dead. Granted, I personally wouldn't want to use these languages today. Go and Nim are taking the programming language evolution further.