On Sat, 07 Jun 2014 11:13:42 -0400, Dennis Lee Bieber wrote:

> About a decade later, said manager retired and confessed that the choice
> of Pascal was a mistake

There's Pascal and there's Pascal. Standard Pascal, I admit, is woefully 
unsuitable for real world work. But Pascal with suitable extensions was 
good enough for the first 6 generations of the Macintosh operating system 
and key applications, at a time when *nobody* was even coming close to 
doing what the Mac was capable of. (Admittedly, a certain number of the 
core OS libraries, most famously Quickdraw, were handwritten in assembly 
by a real genius.) By the mid-80s, Apple's SANE (Standard Apple Numeric 
Environment) was quite possibly the best environment for doing IEEE-754 
numeric work anywhere. But of course, Macintoshes were toys, right, and 
got no respect, even when the Mac G4 was the first PC powerful enough to 
be classified by US export laws as a supercomputer.

[Disclaimer: Pascal on the Mac might have been far ahead of the pack when 
it came to supporting IEEE-754, but it didn't have the vast number of 
(variable-quality) Fortran libraries available on other systems. And 
while it is true that the G4 was classified as a supercomputer, that was 
only for four months until the Clinton administration changed the laws. 
Apple, of course, played that for every cent of advertising as it could.]

Steven D'Aprano

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