1. 20

  2. 8

    I recommend Programming Languages: History and Future (pdf) for a good taste of the work she did. Here’s something that is still true today:

    Programming languages—using any definition—are the primary means by which a person communicates with a computer. Viewed from that perspective, all future developments should be aimed at making this communication easier and more cost effective. Each person doing research and development feels he has the answer. The real truth seems to be that there is no single best way for people to communicate with a computer, and hence no single solution. Thus there will be no single language useful to everyone.

    Also note this was published in 1972, before C even appeared. And the paper lists about 200 languages.

    1. 3

      The ACM article is a subset of what had been created around 25 or so that I know of.

      1. 1

        The big pull-out insert in that paper, tracing a genealogical diagram of pre-1972 programming languages, is pretty interesting in its own right. Would make a nice poster.

      2. 2

        I could be wrong, and my books are in storage so I can’t check, but I think she had something to do with the ACM’s “History of Programming Languages” series.

        1. 3

          Yes, she was the Program Chair for both History of Programming Languages I and II. The conference proceedings are great if you can track them down (or have ACM access).

          1. 1

            I don’t think the hard cover books I bought are conference proceedings. They’re incredible though - I wish they’d consider making e-books of them. Trying very hard to winnow down my dead tree collection :)