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I'm trying to get Programming Languages Through The Years over on the Code Golf site going again. The Wikipedia article that the challenge has been working from only lists COMIT for 1961, and calling it a "language that first became generally available in 1961" seems to be stretching things a bit.

So, what other languages became available in 1961?

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    Aww, come on isn't that like cheating? But serious, 'general available' is a rather strange term for 1961. That was the time when people used assembly, made up their own languages and more importatn, Software wasn't considered a product back then, merely a tool that was given in addition to the machine and exchanged freely between users. – Raffzahn Aug 17 at 9:15
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    I'm interested in this too; as I already cheated by creating a sock-puppet to get around the 5 year rule! How about doing something in machine code for a machine that was introduced in 1961? Just an idea. – Brian Tompsett - 汤莱恩 Aug 17 at 9:27
  • @BrianTompsett-汤莱恩 +10 :)) – Raffzahn Aug 18 at 0:02
  • My Wikipedia says differently. – tofro 18 hours ago
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So, what other languages became available in 1961?

The first that comes to mind would be COBOL as there was a 1961 definition/version.

But all the way back than it gets hard to tie a language to a certain year, as "Software as a Product" wasn't really a thing - and thus sales dates are rarely available. Similar for release dates, as that was often a gradual process involving user feedback (*1).

Also, if I understand this challenge right, any language available in 1961 will do, wouldn't it? So pick any with some date before 1960 - like COBOL-60 .. ups :))


I'm trying to get Programming Languages Through The Years over on the Code Golf site going again.

I think the 'at least 5 years older' clause makes it hard to come up with more than a few iterations. Trying to eliminate that for anything before, lets say, 1970 could be helpful.


*1 - In fact, what I so much love about today's open source development cycle of putting stuff on Github, having users play with it, supplying comments and patches back into the main branch, is quite much like software development originally worked. The way it always should have been. Now supported by the internet and complex tools instead of sneaker-net and card punches.

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    I think the rules are "was first available in year X" not "available in year X". – another-dave Aug 17 at 13:42
  • @another-dave which cuts possible attendance even further down. Beside, assuming COBOL today and COBOL-61 as the same language is like saying C++10 is the same as C, isn't it? – Raffzahn Aug 18 at 0:03
  • Per wikipedia, the Burroughs Algol variants of Algol-60 became available 1961. I'd call that a stretch, though. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ALGOL#IAL_implementations_timeline – Edward Barnard Aug 26 at 17:17
  • Would Plankalkül be considered "generally available" in 1961? I'm not even sure abput that... – tofro 18 hours ago
  • @tofro No,as it was only mentioned at that time in some of Zuse's speeches. First full publication was in the early 1970s, first implementation several years later. And it wasn't until the late 1990s that additional (and usable) implementations were made. So no, neither general nor available in 1961 – Raffzahn 18 hours ago

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