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Historically important programming language, descendants include Pascal, C, C++, Modula-2, BCPL, PL/I, Oberon, Java, Simula and Smalltalk.


Initially evolved out of a number of ideas, but the first proposal was made by Heinz Rutishauser in his paper Automatische Rechenplanfertigung bei programmgesteuerten Rechenmaschinen in 1951 but the language proposed there became known as Superplan, the paper also available in an English translation. Most of the work made in making Algol a reality was done by the "Zürich, Mainz, München, Darmstadt" group, or ZMMD that both had say on the Algol 58 standard and adapted their existing Algorithmic Compiler to the language in 1958.

Initially introduced in 1958 as IAL with the name changed to ALGOL in 1960, but that original variant is now usually known as Algol-58, it drew its inspiration from the work of Heinz Rutishauser on algorithmic programming and the languages Superplan, IT, Plankalkül and FORTRAN.

See also:


  • MARST - Algol-to-C Translator

DOS implementations

  • Persistent S-algol - TP Source
  • RHA Algol-60 - Freeware - Includes source but is nota bene not open source.

Algol like languages

  • muSIMP