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Structured Programming and Literate Programming

Professor Don Knuth ( Stanford University )
The speaker will try to explain why he loves to write programs in a style that is more English than American, by discussing the origins of the structured programming revolution (as pioneered by such people as Strachey, Dijkstra, Hoare, and Dahl) and the subsequent extension to structured documentation. Much of the talk will present details of early history that have been largely forgotten although they still are highly relevant. In particular, several unpublished items of correspondence between the speaker and the founders of structured programming, dating from the late 1960s and early 1970s, will be presented. But then the topic will turn to a discussion of recent work, including the most difficult program that the speaker has ever had the pleasure of completing: a meta-simulator for a RISC computer.



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