Re: Archaic hardware (was Fortran calls)

"robin" <>
Wed, 9 May 2012 10:46:17 +1000

          From comp.compilers

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From: "robin" <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: Wed, 9 May 2012 10:46:17 +1000
Organization: Compilers Central
References: 12-04-070 12-04-077 12-04-081 12-04-082 12-04-084 12-04-085 12-05-004 12-05-005 12-05-006
Keywords: history
Posted-Date: 10 May 2012 12:38:25 EDT

From: "glen herrmannsfeldt" <>
Sent: Sunday, 6 May 2012 3:13 PM

> I remembered the PDP-8 using the "store the return address in the
> first word" method, but, yes, there was an earlier PDP-10 compiler.
> The one I used was, I believe, called Fortran-10 and the older one
> Fortran-40.

The CDC machines 7600, Cyber 70 series, etc used that method to store
the return address.

Surprising that those machines should take a step backwards,
in view of around a decade of Algol (with recursion).

It meant that each subroutine/function needed to implement its own
stack should it be called recursively.

Alan Turing designed the push-down pop-up stack
for subroutines back in 1945, for his computer (later
christened Automatic Computing Engine).
That feature did not see hardware at that time.
However, the Pilot ACE (1951) included a push-down stack
(or, if you like) a queue. That push-down stack was
continued into the DEUCE line (1955).

The stack as a means of calling and returning from subroutines/
functions was implemented in the KDF9 (1961, delivered 1963).

The S/360 and subsequent issue stored the return address in a register.
That made it somewhat easier to have a universal stack manipulated
by software.

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