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An extensive revision of ALGOL 60 by Adriaan van Wijngaarden et al. ALGOL 68 was discussed from 1963 by Working Group 2.1 of IFIP. Its definition was accepted in December 1968.

ALGOL 68 was the first, and still one of very few, programming languages for which a complete formal specification was created before its implementation. However, this specification was hard to understand due to its formality, the fact that it used an unfamiliar metasyntax notation (not BNF) and its unconventional terminology.

One of the singular features of ALGOL 68 was its orthogonal design, making for freedom from arbitrary rules (such as restrictions in other languages that arrays could only be used as parameters but not as results). It also allowed user defined data types, then an unheard-of feature.

It featured structural equivalence; automatic type conversion ("coercion") including dereferencing; flexible arrays; generalised loops (for-from-by-to-while-do-od), if-then-else-elif-fi, an integer case statement with an 'out' clause (case-in-out-esac); skip and goto statements; blocks; procedures; user-defined operators; procedure parameters; concurrent execution (par-begin-end); semaphores; generators "heap" and "loc" for dynamic allocation. It had no abstract data types or separate compilation.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Fortran-77 should be retained as the last, ANSI/ISO Standard dialect, (3) and its deficiencies should be remedied by selection of an established block-structured language (probably ADA, possible Algol-68) as an alternative to Fortran-8x.
practice up to the state of the art in the U.S.S.R., where Algol-68 is both the dominant programming language and the architectural basis of their mainframe computers.
Yet, Fortran programmers will have to wait until the 1990s for these vital programming tools--until ADA of Algol-68 supersedes Fortran-77.
* to add features (such as array-returning functions) that have been available elsewhere (i.e., in Algol-68) for 20 years or more.
I simply do not believe that it is realistic to hope that serious Fortran application programs could be automatically translated to Ada or Algol-68. Also, the language Algol-68 may have merit, but the fact that it is used in the U.S.S.R.
Hunter summarizes by saying "the only technically rational way of advancing the art of scientific and engineering programming is to abandon Fortran in favor of a modern block-structured language such as Algol-68 or Ada." This suggestion will simply not be taken seriously by the heavy-duty scientific computation community.