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View Full Version : Lisa COBOL, Lisa C and Lisa FORTRAN?



nigwil
August 4th, 2009, 09:48 PM
I posted this over at http://groups.google.com/group/lisalist - posting here for those that may not frequent the other group.

Does anyone have copies of these Lisa Workshop programming languages
that they would be willing to share please? I was initially looking
for LisaCOBOL (I wanted to fire it up as my way of celebrating COBOL's
fiftieth anniversary this year), and in the process of emailing anyone
and everyone I learned to my surprise that there was also a C compiler
and even a FORTRAN compiler.

So far after many emails and dead-ends no copies have been
successfully acquired so I thought I would ask here.

I am assuming (hoping) these now have zero intrinsic commercial value
and will not cause any concern if I ask for a extremely limited use
copy (probably once a decade startup) .
thanks.

Positron
August 6th, 2009, 08:59 AM
I have LisaCOBOL and it runs fine. However you are neglecting to say that you only use the Lisa Emulator and not an actual Lisa. Lisa COBOL is available but adapting it to run outside of an actual Lisa is something else. Perhaps someone has already done that?
Here is a link to my startup screen. No problem here.
http://imgs.inkfrog.com/pix/lenny15/LisaCOBOL.JPG

nigwil
August 6th, 2009, 05:49 PM
However you are neglecting to say that you only use the Lisa Emulator and not an actual Lisa.
Thank you for confirming that Lisa COBOL still lives somewhere.

Certainly, like many I suspect, I hope to one-day acquire a real Lisa, but it's rarity and cost are a hurdle for me at this stage.

Yes my request is twofold, both to run these languages on a real Lisa (one-day) and to test with an emulator. An emulator provides a way to confirm the software is intact and usable.

Chuck(G)
August 6th, 2009, 08:45 PM
Grace Hopper would be proud!

nigwil
August 10th, 2009, 01:56 AM
Grace Hopper would be proud!
Perhaps so. Of course RDML Hopper may have preferred to be remembered for her work on FLOW-MATIC rather than the committee-driven COBOL design.

She was after all the first compiler writer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grace_Hopper) (according to the wikipedia entry).

Chuck(G)
August 10th, 2009, 06:34 PM
The COMTRAN folks would probably insist that it was their work that led to COBOL, however. I suspect that the idea of a "natural language" version of a computer language was one of those ideas that had been tossed around quite a bit then.

Speaking of which, the other day I came across a floppy with a freeware program called NACC--it's a natural language version of YACC...

nigwil
August 13th, 2009, 02:12 AM
Speaking of which, the other day I came across a floppy with a freeware program called NACC--it's a natural language version of YACC...

So the input grammar is in BNF and the output is natural language? how curious! have you tried to run it?

Chuck(G)
August 14th, 2009, 12:17 PM
So the input grammar is in BNF and the output is natural language? how curious! have you tried to run it?

Not yet--it's labeled as freeware, so I can scan the (3 pages) of documentation and post the executable if you're interested. It appears to be a test balloon that never managed to attain flight, if you know what I mean.

Natural language computer programming was in vogue a bit in the 60's and 70's. The idea was that any idiot could program a computer by entering statements such as:

"Get the name of the contact and look for the characters "Mr." in the first through 3rd positions. If found, delete them."

The problem of course, is that natural languages aren't precise and it's fairly easy to write constructs that have ambiguous meanings. That's probably why mathematicians don't use natural languages... :)