Author Topic: What were the complaints of binary code programmers that not accept Assembly?  (Read 1955 times)

Offline français

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Reactions to SOAP and Fortran
Richard Hamming -- The Art of Doing Science and Engineering, p25 (pdf book)

In the beginning we programmed in absolute binary... Finally, a Symbolic Assembly Program was devised -- after more years than you are apt to believe during which most programmers continued their heroic absolute binary programming. At the time [the assembler] first appeared I would guess about 1% of the older programmers were interested in it -- using [assembly] was "sissy stuff", and a real programmer would not stoop to wasting machine capacity to do the assembly.

Yes! Programmers wanted no part of it, though when pressed they had to admit their old methods used more machine time in locating and fixing up errors than the [assembler] ever used. One of the main complaints was when using a symbolic system you do not know where anything was in storage -- though in the early days we supplied a mapping of symbolic to actual storage, and believe it or not they later lovingly pored over such sheets rather than realize they did not need to know that information if they stuck to operating within the system -- no! When correcting errors they preferred to do it in absolute binary.

FORTRAN was proposed by Backus and friends, and again was opposed by almost all programmers. First, it was said it could not be done. Second, if it could be done, it would be too wasteful of machine time and capacity. Third, even if it did work, no respectable programmer would use it -- it was only for sissies!


John von Neumann's reaction to assembly language and Fortran
John A.N. Lee, Virginia Polytechnical Institute

John von Neumann, when he first heard about FORTRAN in 1954, was unimpressed and asked "why would you want more than machine language?" One of von Neumann's students at Princeton recalled that graduate students were being used to hand assemble programs into binary for their early machine. This student took time out to build an assembler, but when von Neumann found out about it he was very angry, saying that it was a waste of a valuable scientific computing instrument to use it to do clerical work.

Because 1% of the older programmers that did not accept to use Assembly changed their minds about the Assembly?

Because the older programmers think that using [assembly] was "sissy stuff", and a real programmer would not stoop to wasting machine capacity to do the assembly?

What were all the complaints of binary code programmers that did not accept to use Assembly?

John Von Neumann changed his mind about the Assembly and Fortran?

Offline français

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Where do I find the answers to this question?  ;)