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Homebulletgrey.gifeNewsletterbulletgrey.gifVolume 23bulletgrey.gifFirst Compiler

Who Developed the First Compiler?

Question: Who developed the first language compiler and when?

Answer: Rear Admiral Dr. Grace Murray Hopper, in 1949. The compiler, written in assembly language, converted symbolic mathematical code into machine code.

By 1949 programs contained mnemonics that were transformed into binary code instructions executable by the computer. Admiral Hopper and her team extended this improvement on binary code with the development of her first compiler, the A-O. The A-O series of compilers translated symbolic mathematical code into machine code, and allowed the specification of call numbers assigned to the collected programming routines stored on magnetic tape. One could then simply specify the call numbers of the desired routines and the computer would “find them on the tape, bring them over and do the additions. This was the first compiler,” she declared.

Source: http://www.cs.yale.edu/homes/tap/Files/hopper-story.html

Notable Quotes from Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, inventor of COBOL, and founder of early computer programming.

  • “Life was simple before World War II. After that, we had systems.”
  • “I seem to do a lot of retiring.”
  • “In pioneer days they used oxen for heavy pulling, and when one ox couldn’t budge a log, they didn’t try to grow a larger ox. We shouldn’t be trying for bigger computers, but for more systems of computers.”
  • “Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, ‘We’ve always done it this way.’ I try to fight that. That’s why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise.”
  • “A business’ accounts receivable file is much more important than its accounts payable file.”
  • “We’re flooding people with information. We need to feed it through a processor. A human must turn information into intelligence or knowledge. We’ve tended to forget that no computer will ever ask a new question.”
  • “You manage things, you lead people. We went overboard on management and forgot about leadership. It might help if we ran the MBAs out of Washington.”

c‑tree and C Compilers

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The portability and flexibility that has been part of FairCom's reputation for over 20 years have been fundamentally important to FSC. c-tree Plus' native support for multiple platforms, including Windows, Novell Netware, and Apple Macintosh, means that no changes are required in the database code when moving an application to different operating systems. The c-tree Server's heterogeneous networking allows FSC's engineers to implement Catalog Plus and Circulation Plus on different server platforms while supporting clients using any combination of Windows and Mac operating systems. FairCom handles all data conversions between the various operating systems and allows FSC to concentrate on what its customers need from the application and how to deliver it most efficiently.

The c-tree Server's client/server architecture allows FSC to maximize performance since database operations take place on the Server machine, thus reducing network I/O common with other databases. Clients access the server only when requesting data and only the results travel across the network, not the entire data search detail. In addition, FairCom's full-featured transaction processing assures that vital data will be preserved even in the face of a catastrophic failure, such as a machine crash or power failure.

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