MGT Computer Solutions >> Services >> Custom Programming >> PL/I

Inaccurate descriptions of this elegant high-level language called it "A FORTRAN/COBOL hybrid".  Its block structure is reminiscent of ALGOL or even LISP.  But sadly, PL/I never caught on the way it should have.

IBM positioned PL/I as a high-level replacement for BAL.  Its virtue was that it made the nature of the System/360 hardware visible at the level of the application program; PL/I programs run very fast.  This close linkage to the hardware was also its curse; most PL/I programs written for byte-addressable machines (like the Sys/360) couldn't port to other platforms.  Other PL/I's, running on machines with an addressability other than to the byte, were functional cripples.  So PL/I stayed an IBM-shop specialty item.

But its influence lives on today.  One of PL/I's big strengths, the application-level representation of memory addresses, was implemented in the language that eventually became C (and several of its many offspring).   And PL/I's comment tokens ("/*" and "*/") are recognized as comment tokens in languages from C to CSS.

Interestingly, the Sperry Corporation so well understood the strength of a language like PL/I that they fostered two languages similar to it: PLUS (Programming Language for Univac Systems) and PLUM (Programming Language for Univac Microprocessors).  But PLUS was used only in portions of certain Sperry software products; and although PLUM was offered to end-users, few took advantage of it.

We are expert in PL/I.  Call us if this language is still part of your life.

"The Miracle Workers of Computing" since 1989
Our Twenty-fourth Year

Any trademark appearing on this page is the property of its owner.

Please send us your questions or comments about this web site.
Design, Implementation and Contents Copyright © 1998-2013 MGT Computer Solutions.  All rights reserved.