Thursday, 5 April 2018

SNOBOL (StriNg Oriented and symBOlic Language)

SNOBOL does seem at first glance a typo of a more familiar sounding programming languages like COBOL but is in fact SNOBOL a series of languages developed at Bell Laboratories by David J. Farber, Ralph E. Griswold and Ivan P. Polonsky in the early 1960s. SNOBOL was designed for text processing and pattern matching and was quite different to most other programming languages of the time.

SNOBOL was originally developed for the symbolic manipulation of polynomials on the IBM 7090 mainframe in 1962 but the language became popular and was refined and expanded culminating in SNOBOL4 in 1967.

SNOBOL4 was based on a virtual machine which meant it was much more portable. The language was popular in teaching, artificial intelligence and text manipulation in the 1970s and 1980s though it has been eclipsed by newer tools and languages.

More recently derived languages like SL5 and Icon have added structured language concepts to SNOBOL (which has none itself).

So how do you do a "Hello World" program in SNOBOL?

OUTPUT = "Hello world"