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 Post subject: Andrew Tanenbaum lied or John Backus lied?
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 5:37 am 
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According the book of Andrew Tanenbaum, STRUCTURED COMPUTER ORGANIZATION, nobody have programmed in machine language when assemblers had been invented:

"The reason that people use assembly language, as opposed to programming in machine language (in hexadecimal), is that it is much easier to program in assembly language. The use of symbolic names and symbolic addresses instead of binary or octal ones makes an enormous difference. Most people can remember that the abbreviations for add, subtract, multiply, and divide are ADD, SUB, MUL, and DIV, but few can remember the corresponding numerical values the machine uses.

The assembly language programmer need only remember the symbolic names because the assembler translates them to the machine instructions. The same remarks apply to addresses. The assembly language programmer can give symbolic names to memory locations and have the assembler worry about supplying the correct numerical values. The machine language programmer must always work with the numerical values of the addresses. As a consequence, no one programs in machine language today, although people did so decades ago, before assemblers had been invented".

According the John Backus in "THE HISTORY OF FORTRAN I, II, AND III", "before 1954 almost all programming was done in machine language or assembly language:
http://www.softwarepreservation.org/pro ... backus.pdf


Why Andrew Tanenbaum said that nobody have programmed in machine language when assemblers had been invented?

Why John Backus said that before 1954 almost all programming was done in machine language or assembly language?

Andrew Tanenbaum lied or John Backus lied?


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 Post subject: Re: Andrew Tanenbaum lied or John Backus lied?
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 5:44 am 
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Please don't accuse respected computer scientists of lying.

There is no contradiction between the two statements. You might also like to consider when assemblers became generally available.

Now, please stop wasting our time with this silly obsession.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrew Tanenbaum lied or John Backus lied?
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 8:58 am 
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Manhobby. Your English language skills are not good enough to understand what we are saying, or you are deliberately trolling. If you have any useful questions, ask them, but these questions are useless.


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 Post subject: Re: Andrew Tanenbaum lied or John Backus lied?
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 10:42 am 
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manhobby wrote:
According the book of Andrew Tanenbaum, STRUCTURED COMPUTER ORGANIZATION, nobody have programmed in machine language when assemblers had been invented...


The word "nobody" doesn't always mean "nobody". It often means "hardly anyone", "very few people", "so few people that it isn't worth considering them", etc.

Quote:
Why John Backus said that before 1954 almost all programming was done in machine language or assembly language?


Because most of it was done in machine language or assembly language before that year, and immediately before that year, most of it would have been done in assembly language rather than in machine language.

Neither of them lied - they simply told the essential truth as they saw it and didn't care about any exceptions that there might have been. It's a bit like saying "nobody speaks Latin any more", which is essentially true even though it's false. People normally use words imprecisely and rely on the intelligence of the people listening to work out that while there may be exceptions, they are unimportant. You have a very literal mind which demands precision in every statement, but most people talk in a different way where they communicate truths in very relaxed way where what they say needs to be interpreted carefully rather than being taken absolutely literally. This means the people listening need to think harder to work out what the intended meaning is, but they don't see it as hard thinking because it's more like a game. People actually play this game with language so much that most of them find it very hard to state things with precision because they are normally understood anyway - the people listening know how to correct the ideas to make them compatible with their own database of knowledge, so they simply translate them into a more precise form in their minds and don't worry about any statements that aren't 100% true. Indeed, a lot of the time they speak using metaphors where what they say is literally ridiculous, but where part of the meaning is appropriate and only that part should be kept by the listeners while the rest of the idea is thrown away. It's a complex game which most people can play without effort, but there is a large minority of people who are highly intelligent but struggle to understand how this language game works, and I think you're in that group. What you need to understand is that almost everything that people say can take the form of a puzzle which needs to be worked out by guessing what they really mean rather than by trusting what they actually say, and they are not lying even when what they say is not literally true.

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 Post subject: Re: Andrew Tanenbaum lied or John Backus lied?
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 7:05 pm 
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@DavidCooper,

Thank you!


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 Post subject: Re: Andrew Tanenbaum lied or John Backus lied?
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 6:12 am 
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@DavidCooper,

Which is the source of your following answer?

manhobby wrote:
Why John Backus said that before 1954 almost all programming was done in machine language or assembly language?


DavidCooper wrote:
Because most of it was done in machine language or assembly language before that year, and immediately before that year, most of it would have been done in assembly language rather than in machine language.


@DavidCooper,

John Backus said that before 1954 almost all programming was done in machine language or assembly language.

manhobby wrote:
According the John Backus in "THE HISTORY OF FORTRAN I, II, AND III", "before 1954 almost all programming was done in machine language or assembly language:
http://www.softwarepreservation.org/pro ... backus.pdf


Before 1954 minority of programming was done in wich language?


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 Post subject: Re: Andrew Tanenbaum lied or John Backus lied?
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 10:01 am 
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manhobby wrote:
Which is the source of your following answer? ...

I looked at what Backus said and compared it with what I already know, then I compared the two lots of information to see if they contradict each other. They didn't, so I take what he said as true and trust it. What he said is that almost all programming was done in machine-language-or-assembly-language before 1954, and that sounds right. Some programming may have been being done in higher level programming languages before that year, and a lot more by that year: the implication is that most programming was done in high-level languages after 1954. That is the assumption that I would make, but if I was keen to study the history of programming, I would check the facts more carefully to see if my assumption is correct, and if the facts contradict it, I would correct my understanding of that history. I'm not interested enough it it to want to spend time on that at this point in time, but if you want to research it, go ahead - use Google and Wikipedia to hunt for information, because that will get you further than asking here, not least because most of the people involved in programming in those days are either dead or very old, and I doubt any of them ever visit this forum.


Quote:
Before 1954 minority of programming was done in wich language?

Why do you need to ask? Backus has already told you. Immediately before 1954, most of it would have been done in Assembly language, and further back in time, most of it would have been done in machine language. After 1954, we can assume that Fortran and other high-level languages took over as the main way of programming.

If you're going to keep asking the same questions over and over again, it will likely lead to you being banned from posting here, so it would be better if you ask me directly in PMs first so that I can advise you on whether to post them publicly or not, and I don't get annoyed in the way that other people do because I understand more about how your mind works - your way of thinking may suit a career in programming because it depends on precise minds to construct good code, but you'll also need to learn to avoid getting obsessed with issues about people saying things that might or might not be 100% correct - these issues simply aren't important. You need to move on and start building something.

Edit: Sorry - I misread the word "minority" as "majority" in your question, so you were actually asking something slightly new. The minority of programming before 1954 would have been done in whichever high-level languages existed at the time, so you should look up Wikipedia to find the history of programming languages and look to see when each was invented. Any that pre-date 1954 will have been in use before that year, but not as much as assembly language. You should be able to find all the answers by doing your own research rather than asking here. It's best to think of this forum as a place to ask questions only after you've tried Google, Wikipedia, etc. and failed to find the answers that you need.

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 Post subject: Re: Andrew Tanenbaum lied or John Backus lied?
PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 12:54 am 
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DavidCooper wrote:
manhobby wrote:
Before 1954 minority of programming was done in wich language?

Why do you need to ask? Backus has already told you. Immediately before 1954, most of it would have been done in Assembly language, and further back in time, most of it would have been done in machine language.


It should be noted that, even further back (pre-van-Neumann), "programming" was done by hardwiring a computer's circuit board. (Ref. The Art of Assembly, chapter 3.3.4 The Control Unit and Instruction Sets.)

That's what those old pictures are about, with people standing in front of a wall-to-wall cabinet with lots of wires plugged in.

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