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List of Names
- Language type:
ABC is an interpreted procedural language
designed to be a higher-level replacement
for BASIC. The design of the language
was originally based on a task analysis
of programming work; ABC and its
development environment were designed to
make the work easier.
ABC features a small, orthagonal set of
data types, and a simple goal-oriented
syntax. The data types are: strings,
unlimit-precision numbers, records,
lists, and associative arrays. Data
handling is mostly performed by
specialized commands that manipulate
the lists, tables, and records. The
language also has a substantial set of
high-level operators and I/O statements.
To facilitate top-down programming,
ABC supports 'refinement', a mechanism
for declaring operations in-line and
defining them later in the code.
ABC the language is not really distinct
from its programming environment (some
dialects of Basic, and many of Lisp, also
have this property). Expressions or
ABC can be part of function or predicate,
or can be given directly to the environment
for immediate execution.
ABC's high-level operators and data
structures allow many kinds of computations
to be expressed very succintly. ABC
has been used to write simple natural
language parsers and databases.
ABC is available for some Unix systems,
for the Macintosh.
Some information is available on the web,
and there are also books about the
Geurts and Pemberton, 1987, after Geurts and Meertens, 1975-82
- See Also:
The ABC environment is persistent,
in the sense that any variable, function or
predicate defined during a session
remains for later sessions until the
user explicitly deletes it. This is
similar to the persistence feature of
the S data analysis language.
One oddity of ABC is that it uses
indentation to describe control structure
nesting. Most languages use special
markers of some kind to delimit
areas of code (for example, BEGIN and
END in Pascal), but ABC derives the
semantic structure of the code from the
amount of whitespace preceding source
- Sample code:
Descriptions in this dictionary are ©1997-99 Neal Ziring. Some
examples copyright of their respective authors. Some
technologies and languages are trademarked. Permission to
copy descriptions is granted as long as authorship credit is preserved.
Comments on this dictionary, corrections and suggestions, are all welcome.
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Dictionary and script maintained by Neal Ziring, last major modifications 3/18/98. Most recent
additions to dictionary and master list, 1/00.