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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

A proposal for input-output conventions in ALGOL 60

The ALGOL 60 language as first defined made no explicit reference to input and output processes. Such processes appeared to be quite dependent on the computer used, and so it was difficult to obtain agreement on those matters. As time has passed, a great many ALGOL compilers have come into use, and each compiler has incorporated some input-output facilities. Experience has shown that such facilities can be introduced in a manner which is compatible and consistent with the ALGOL language, and which (more importantly) is almost completely machine-independent. However, the existing implementations have taken many different approaches to the subject, and this has hampered the interchange of programs between installations. The ACM ALGOL committee has carefully studied the various proposals in an attempt to define a set of conventions for doing input and output which would be suitable for use on most computers. The present report constitutes the recommendations of that committee.

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