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John Backus DL Author Profile link

United States – 1977
Short Annotated Bibliography

Papers (Speedcoding)

  1. Backus, J., “The IBM Speedcoding System,” The Journal of the Association for Computing Machinery, Vol. 1, Num. 1, pp. 4-6, January 1954, available here.
  2. Backus, J. and H. Herrick, “IBM 701 Speedcoding and Other Automatic Programming Systems,” Symposium on Automatic Programming for Digital Computers, Office of Technical Services, US Department of Commerce, May 1954. These two papers detail Backus’ first work in high-level programming languages, developed for the IBM 701 and focused on simplifying the problem of manipulating floating point numbers.

Papers (FORTRAN)

  1. Specification for the IBM Mathematical FORmula TRANslating System, FORTRAN, IBM Applied Science Division, New York, November 10, 1954.
  2. Backus, J. et al., “The FORTRAN Automatic Coding System,” Proceedings of the Western Joint Computer Conference, February 26-28, 1957, Vol. 11, pp. 188-198. These two papers detail Backus’ design of FORTRAN.
  3. Backus, J., “The History of FORTRAN I, II, and III,” Annals of the History of Computing, Vol. 1, Num. 1, pp. 21-37, July-September 1979. This paper offers a history of FORTRAN in Backus’ own words.

Papers (ALGOL)

  1. Backus, J., “The Syntax and Semantics of the Proposed International Algorithmic Programing Language of Zurich ACM-GAMM Conference,” Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Processing, UNESCO, pp. 125-132, 1959.
  2. Backus, J. et al., “Revised Report on the Algorithmic Language ALGOL 60,” Communications of the ACM, Vol. 6, Num. 1, pp. 1-17, 1960, available here.These two papers detail the design of ALGOL, using the Backus-Naur form (BNF).

Papers (Functional Programming)

  1. Backus, J. “Can Programming Be Liberated From the von Neumann Style? A Functional Style and its Algebra of Programs,” Communications of the ACM, Vol. 21, Num. 8, 1978, pp, 613-641, available here. In this paper, Backus proposes the foundation of functional programming.