[fpc-pascal] Pascal Lexical Diagrams

Mark Morgan Lloyd markMLl.fpc-pascal at telemetry.co.uk
Sun Jan 31 11:26:05 CET 2016

Michael Van Canneyt wrote:

>> Found <https://github.com/tabatkins/railroad-diagrams>.
>> Sorry for ask! ^^'
> Nice. Added to my bookmarks :-)
> I may actually use this to redo the official ones as PNG images.

Without wanting to go too far OT, I wonder whether I could make a couple 
of observations.

When I was with Burroughs in the early 80s, these things were referred 
to internally as "railroad diagrams". However, 
http://www.ianjoyner.name/Files/Waychoff.pdf (page 8) tells the story of 
the invention (by Burroughs) of this sort of illustration, and while 
much of that document is suspect I think that bit can be believed 
because some of it involves ACM publications etc.

Waychoff refers to them as "syntax charts", Perlis described the ALGOL 
one as "The ALGOL Roadmap" and it was in "Communications Of
The ACM [...] September, 1961. It was undoubtedly the first centerfold 
for any magazine other than “Playboy”".

So hopefully we can drop the nasty "railroad" Americanism, since it 
wasn't the original name. And hopefully we can use "syntax" in the name, 
since that's what they describe. Hence "syntax chart", "syntax diagram" 
or something similar. Please :-)

Mark Morgan Lloyd
markMLl .AT. telemetry.co .DOT. uk

[Opinions above are the author's, not those of his employers or colleagues]

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