On the Programming Language SIMSCRIPT II.5

a software poem by Jonathan Vos Post
(With Apologies to Samuel Butler's
Hudibras "A Babylonish Dialect...")

A simulationist dialect which folks at RAND do much affect it was a patchwork party dress of half a dozen languages. It sprang from a language called SPS-1 which was, in turn, the linguistic son of GEMS, the child of sparks and bits and Air Force money, and Markowitz. Markowitz, Kiviat, Villanueva eager to meet with the RAND Project's favor rolled up some syntax and let the thing snowball with LET statements (BASIC), Arithmetic (COBOL), and PL/I's structures and ALGOL's recursions and Entity-Attributes, like some LISP versions -- models, discrete, can still show strange perversions! The whole was a jumble of multiple things, an asynchronous mess held together by strings, with features hung on, and swinging from hammocks, collecting statistics, controlling dynamics. A histogram symphony on an harmonica like SIMPAC (Mike Lackner, SDC, Santa Monica), GPSS (IBM), CSL (by the British). Semantic? It's frantic, though syntax is skittish. It has such an oddly promiscuous tone (like a string quartet plus a saxophone) that to speak it requires fantastical stunts: the nine heads of the Hydra all babbling at once. 1850-1935 20 Apr 85

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