Re: Noam Chomsky and John Backus (Richard Weaver)
18 Sep 1998 22:59:57 -0400

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From: (Richard Weaver)
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 18 Sep 1998 22:59:57 -0400
Organization: ICGNetcom
References: 98-09-046
Keywords: history writes:
>My question here is: Was John Backus directly or indirectly
>inspired by Chomsky? [re Fortran]

I've deleted most of your text; choosing not to further circulate text
where it is difficult to separate assertions, suppositions, and

For the one question above, No. At least not in what Backus writes.
See "History of Programming Languages", Wexelblat editor, page 30,
where Backus writes "As far as we were aware, we simply made up the
language as we went along". The Preliminary Report on Fortran, by the
way, was published in 1954. Backus introduced the syntax notation in
1959 (op cit p121)

Dick W

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