Discussion:
Anyone for CORAL?
(too old to reply)
Ian Miller
2006-04-04 14:11:58 UTC
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I saw this

http://www.openvms.org/stories.php?story=06/04/04/7269448

and who still used CORAL and what for?

CORAL-66 appears to me like a block structured language like RTL/2 or
ALGOL-60. I have written RTL/2 in the dim and distant past but not
CORAL-66.
Tom Linden
2006-04-04 14:20:53 UTC
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Post by Ian Miller
I saw this
http://www.openvms.org/stories.php?story=06/04/04/7269448
and who still used CORAL and what for?
CORAL-66 appears to me like a block structured language like RTL/2 or
ALGOL-60. I have written RTL/2 in the dim and distant past but not
CORAL-66.
Outside the Brittish military, noone.
Duncan Macdonald
2006-04-04 22:12:11 UTC
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CORAL-66 was also used extensively by the CEGB (British Central Electricity
Generating Board)
Given the life expectancy of power station control systems, there are
probably still several power stations using it.

The standard system software for the last round of new station builds and
refurbishments before the breakup of the CEGB was CUTLASS running on the
TOPSY operating system - both written in CORAL-66 (with some assembler) - I
was the senior programmer responsible for the TOPSY OS and its networking.

Duncan Macdonald
Post by Tom Linden
Post by Ian Miller
I saw this
http://www.openvms.org/stories.php?story=06/04/04/7269448
and who still used CORAL and what for?
CORAL-66 appears to me like a block structured language like RTL/2 or
ALGOL-60. I have written RTL/2 in the dim and distant past but not
CORAL-66.
Outside the Brittish military, noone.
Tom Linden
2006-04-05 02:42:36 UTC
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Your Irish counterparts were a bit smarter, they wrote it in PL/I.

On Tue, 04 Apr 2006 15:12:11 -0700, Duncan Macdonald
Post by Duncan Macdonald
CORAL-66 was also used extensively by the CEGB (British Central Electricity
Generating Board)
Given the life expectancy of power station control systems, there are
probably still several power stations using it.
The standard system software for the last round of new station builds and
refurbishments before the breakup of the CEGB was CUTLASS running on the
TOPSY operating system - both written in CORAL-66 (with some assembler) - I
was the senior programmer responsible for the TOPSY OS and its
networking.
Duncan Macdonald
Post by Tom Linden
Post by Ian Miller
I saw this
http://www.openvms.org/stories.php?story=06/04/04/7269448
and who still used CORAL and what for?
CORAL-66 appears to me like a block structured language like RTL/2 or
ALGOL-60. I have written RTL/2 in the dim and distant past but not
CORAL-66.
Outside the Brittish military, noone.
Alan Greig
2006-04-05 12:30:57 UTC
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Post by Ian Miller
I saw this
http://www.openvms.org/stories.php?story=06/04/04/7269448
and who still used CORAL and what for?
CORAL-66 appears to me like a block structured language like RTL/2 or
ALGOL-60. I have written RTL/2 in the dim and distant past but not
CORAL-66.
Somewhere or other on TK50, I still have the Coral-66 source of a
Wordstar (remember that?) for VMS clone, written within the UK Ministry
of Defence.
--
Alan Greig
TriumphMan
2006-04-06 15:18:01 UTC
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We used CORAL-66 first on a Honeywell DDP-516 (Honeywell compiler),
then on a PDP-11/45 and later on various MicroPDP-11s (RMCS compiler by
Robert Firth), then on the VAX under VMS (a completely different RMCS
compiler by John Hunter). The application was flight data recorder
replay and analysis (still doing that today, but m$ and C++ - sigh). We
started to use CORAL because it was a viable alternative to FORTRAN on
the DDP-516. We found the code quality much improved (more
maintainable, lower bug density) when we made the change. And somehow
we stuck with it until the late 1990's. Now it seems much of that
system software is lost. I have heard that a copy the RMCS PDP-11
compiler has been found but I don't hold out much hope for the others.
Pity; how am I going to compile my source code now there are emulators
available? ;-)
Tom Linden
2006-04-06 15:30:06 UTC
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On Thu, 06 Apr 2006 08:18:01 -0700, TriumphMan
Post by TriumphMan
We used CORAL-66 first on a Honeywell DDP-516 (Honeywell compiler),
then on a PDP-11/45 and later on various MicroPDP-11s (RMCS compiler by
Robert Firth), then on the VAX under VMS (a completely different RMCS
compiler by John Hunter). The application was flight data recorder
replay and analysis (still doing that today, but m$ and C++ - sigh). We
started to use CORAL because it was a viable alternative to FORTRAN on
the DDP-516. We found the code quality much improved (more
maintainable, lower bug density) when we made the change. And somehow
we stuck with it until the late 1990's. Now it seems much of that
system software is lost. I have heard that a copy the RMCS PDP-11
compiler has been found but I don't hold out much hope for the others.
Pity; how am I going to compile my source code now there are emulators
available? ;-)
I thought the CORAL-66 compiler on the VAX used the PL/I backend, VCG.
Have a vague recollection of speaking with someonefrom Reading 1981 at
the Systems show in Munich.
Ian Miller
2006-04-06 16:21:22 UTC
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I dont think this CORAL-66 compiler does but you would have to contact
the owners to find out. www.swep-eds.com
Jon Lockett
2006-04-07 14:11:55 UTC
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Post by Tom Linden
On Thu, 06 Apr 2006 08:18:01 -0700, TriumphMan
Post by TriumphMan
We used CORAL-66 first on a Honeywell DDP-516 (Honeywell compiler),
then on a PDP-11/45 and later on various MicroPDP-11s (RMCS compiler by
Robert Firth), then on the VAX under VMS (a completely different RMCS
compiler by John Hunter). The application was flight data recorder
replay and analysis (still doing that today, but m$ and C++ - sigh). We
started to use CORAL because it was a viable alternative to FORTRAN on
the DDP-516. We found the code quality much improved (more
maintainable, lower bug density) when we made the change. And somehow
we stuck with it until the late 1990's. Now it seems much of that
system software is lost. I have heard that a copy the RMCS PDP-11
compiler has been found but I don't hold out much hope for the others.
Pity; how am I going to compile my source code now there are emulators
available? ;-)
I thought the CORAL-66 compiler on the VAX used the PL/I backend, VCG.
Have a vague recollection of speaking with someonefrom Reading 1981 at
the Systems show in Munich.
The OpenVMS CORAL compilers from EDS don't use the PL/I backend. In
1981, DEC had their own CORAL compiler and presumably this used VCG.
The EDS compiler generates VAX code and, on Alpha/Itanium, uses the HP
AMACRO/IMACRO compilers to generate the appropiate object code.
Bill Gunshannon
2006-04-06 15:45:01 UTC
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Post by TriumphMan
We used CORAL-66 first on a Honeywell DDP-516 (Honeywell compiler),
then on a PDP-11/45 and later on various MicroPDP-11s (RMCS compiler by
Robert Firth), then on the VAX under VMS (a completely different RMCS
compiler by John Hunter). The application was flight data recorder
replay and analysis (still doing that today, but m$ and C++ - sigh). We
started to use CORAL because it was a viable alternative to FORTRAN on
the DDP-516. We found the code quality much improved (more
maintainable, lower bug density) when we made the change. And somehow
we stuck with it until the late 1990's. Now it seems much of that
system software is lost. I have heard that a copy the RMCS PDP-11
compiler has been found but I don't hold out much hope for the others.
Pity; how am I going to compile my source code now there are emulators
available? ;-)
I don't suppose there is any chance any of these PDP-11 CORAL compilers
are publicly available for use?

bill
--
Bill Gunshannon | de-moc-ra-cy (di mok' ra see) n. Three wolves
***@cs.scranton.edu | and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.
University of Scranton |
Scranton, Pennsylvania | #include <std.disclaimer.h>
Ger_Marsh
2006-04-05 21:44:14 UTC
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I can't believe that it's still being supported! And now it's being
ported!!

CORAL (Computer On-line Real-time Application Language - IIRC) has some
unusual features:

- Keywords are enclosed in apostrophes (primes)...
- therefore variables can have embedded spaces.
- In-line assembler can also be included, like the BBC Micro's BASIC.

Apologies for any syntax error but you could do something like...

'IF' CHAR COUNT 'EQ' 0 'THEN'
'CODE'
<assembler here>

(And the "66" came from 1966 - it must have been very advanced for its
time.)

Taught myself it when a bored operator and hassled some MOD contractors
- belonging to SD ironically!

I did some typical operator type work on it including translating
teletype characters to visible shapes on paper tape. Excellent for
birthdays.

Keep that flag a'flying.


Gerald.
Post by Ian Miller
I saw this
http://www.openvms.org/stories.php?story=06/04/04/7269448
and who still used CORAL and what for?
CORAL-66 appears to me like a block structured language like RTL/2 or
ALGOL-60. I have written RTL/2 in the dim and distant past but not
CORAL-66.
reb
2006-04-07 23:27:39 UTC
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Post by Ger_Marsh
I can't believe that it's still being supported! And now it's being
ported!!
Systems Designers (the company) was built on CORAL work for
the MoD over many years, so I guess its not too surprising
they're still supporting it ( I see CONTEXT as well, but
what about CoralPlus and Perspective [pascal that one] ?? )

Various companies sold CORAL compilers, including DEC UK,
but in the end the SD->Scicon->EDS products prevailed on
most platforms.
Post by Ger_Marsh
CORAL (Computer On-line Real-time Application Language - IIRC) has some
- Keywords are enclosed in apostrophes (primes)...
- therefore variables can have embedded spaces.
- In-line assembler can also be included, like the BBC Micro's BASIC.
The use of apostrophes was one of three ways in which a
CORAL66 compiler could allow keywords to be identified, IIRC.

The inline assembler support was a bit clunky compared to
the similar feature in RTL/2 - but then that could be said
about almost every other feature in the two languages
(biased ? moi ??)

Things I remember having fun with include:
- having to explicitly declare re-entrant procedures
(this was in the early 1980s)
- overlays (roughly like Fortran EQUIVALENCE)
Post by Ger_Marsh
(And the "66" came from 1966 - it must have been very advanced for its
time.)
I think it was an attempt to define a subset of Algol60 for
MoD use - I'm not sure if CORAL66 introduced any new concepts.
Of course the MoD also came up with their own Algol variants.


RTL/2 came along around 1970 from ICI (chemicals company),
and was designed originally for plant engineers to use in
control systems for refineries, etc. SD-Scicon actually
sold RTL/2 for a few years after buying a company called
SPL, but it was never a major interest for them (MoD sales
have many advantages over sales to commercial companies)
and they dropped it in 1990. Like CORAL its still around;
nowadays ports are done using a compiler that generates
C code rather than the 'traditional' assembler or binary.


Roger B.
reb
2006-04-07 23:33:11 UTC
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Post by reb
( I see CONTEXT as well, but
what about CoralPlus and Perspective [pascal that one] ?? )
To save anyone else pointing it out, if I go
to the right page I see them as well. (doh)


Roger B.
H Vlems
2006-04-06 08:57:20 UTC
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CORAL66 may be the last general purpose programming language that
supports call by name parameters in procedures. So you can use
programming techniques like Jensen's device. If Unisys still supports
its MCP then their ALGOL compilers are also still around, which also
have support for call by name parameters. And no, call by name is not
the same nor even remotely similar to call by reference....

Hans
g***@googlemail.com
2014-02-07 12:46:21 UTC
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Post by Ian Miller
I saw this
http://www.openvms.org/stories.php?story=06/04/04/7269448
and who still used CORAL and what for?
CORAL-66 appears to me like a block structured language like RTL/2 or
ALGOL-60. I have written RTL/2 in the dim and distant past but not
CORAL-66.
I'm late to the party here, but I thought it worth sharing that I work supporting legacy systems and use CORAL66 every time I code. I have a few official documents and guides that I can scan and share if people are interested?
Stephen Hoffman
2014-02-07 12:59:40 UTC
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Post by g***@googlemail.com
I'm late to the party here, but I thought it worth sharing that I work
supporting legacy systems and use CORAL66 every time I code. I have a
few official documents and guides that I can scan and share if people
are interested?
The folks at <bitsavers.org> will probably be interested — document
submission recommendations are discussed at the bottom of that web page.
--
Pure Personal Opinion | HoffmanLabs LLC
Bill Gunshannon
2014-02-07 13:41:05 UTC
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Post by g***@googlemail.com
Post by Ian Miller
I saw this
http://www.openvms.org/stories.php?story=06/04/04/7269448
and who still used CORAL and what for?
CORAL-66 appears to me like a block structured language like RTL/2 or
ALGOL-60. I have written RTL/2 in the dim and distant past but not
CORAL-66.
I'm late to the party here, but I thought it worth sharing that I work supporting legacy systems and use CORAL66 every time I code. I have a few official documents and guides that I can scan and share if people are interested?
late to the party? You certainly are as that is yet another message
from the distant past. 2004 to be exact.

I don't know who is doing this but I wish there al NNTP servers wuold find
out and cut this (or these) sites off. Especially if it is Google.

bill
--
Bill Gunshannon | de-moc-ra-cy (di mok' ra see) n. Three wolves
***@cs.scranton.edu | and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.
University of Scranton |
Scranton, Pennsylvania | #include <std.disclaimer.h>
Ian Miller
2014-02-11 14:11:18 UTC
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It may be 10 years after that message but CORAL66 is still available from
http://www.swep-eds.com/CORAL/Coral%20page.html
for your OpenVMS VAX/Alpha/Itanium system
s***@gmail.com
2016-08-10 16:07:28 UTC
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Post by Ian Miller
I saw this
http://www.openvms.org/stories.php?story=06/04/04/7269448
and who still used CORAL and what for?
CORAL-66 appears to me like a block structured language like RTL/2 or
ALGOL-60. I have written RTL/2 in the dim and distant past but not
CORAL-66.
I used to use CORAL-66 at GEC Marconi Avionics. We used it for the AQS 903 colour Submarine Tracking Systems that were installed in the Merlin EH101 helicopters (back in the early 1990's)
Stephen Hoffman
2016-08-10 18:19:53 UTC
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...,
...(back in the early 1990's)...
We're further away from the post that you're replying to than that post
is away from the 1990s.
--
Pure Personal Opinion | HoffmanLabs LLC
Stephen Hoffman
2016-08-10 18:28:39 UTC
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Post by Stephen Hoffman
...,
...(back in the early 1990's)...
We're further away from the post that you're replying to than that post
is away from the 1990s.
ps: welcome to usenet and to the comp.os.vms newsgroup.
--
Pure Personal Opinion | HoffmanLabs LLC
Simon Clubley
2016-08-11 00:23:23 UTC
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Post by Stephen Hoffman
...,
...(back in the early 1990's)...
We're further away from the post that you're replying to than that post
is away from the 1990s.
$ set response/mode=good_natured

But not from the _early_ 1990s which is what the above post says. :-)

Simon.
--
Simon Clubley, ***@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP
Microsoft: Bringing you 1980s technology to a 21st century world
y***@gmail.com
2017-04-30 07:30:58 UTC
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Post by Ian Miller
I saw this
http://www.openvms.org/stories.php?story=06/04/04/7269448
and who still used CORAL and what for?
CORAL-66 appears to me like a block structured language like RTL/2 or
ALGOL-60. I have written RTL/2 in the dim and distant past but not
CORAL-66.
And an even later late comer!! Not coding with Coral-66 but using a system that is running programs that were coded with it. This is the Bloodhound Missile Syetem Launch Control Post with the target neing the Ferranti Argus 700. We have restored kit that was abandoned in a field for over 20 years and it is fully running with its original simulator. You can find out about our project here: www.BMPG.org.uk We are aware of one other user and their systems will remain in use for some years to come.

Mike
Director, Bloodhound Missile Preservation Group
GerMarsh
2017-06-02 12:51:04 UTC
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Post by y***@gmail.com
Post by Ian Miller
I saw this
http://www.openvms.org/stories.php?story=06/04/04/7269448
and who still used CORAL and what for?
CORAL-66 appears to me like a block structured language like RTL/2 or
ALGOL-60. I have written RTL/2 in the dim and distant past but not
CORAL-66.
And an even later late comer!! Not coding with Coral-66 but using a system that is running programs that were coded with it. This is the Bloodhound Missile Syetem Launch Control Post with the target neing the Ferranti Argus 700. We have restored kit that was abandoned in a field for over 20 years and it is fully running with its original simulator. You can find out about our project here: www.BMPG.org.uk We are aware of one other user and their systems will remain in use for some years to come.
Mike
Director, Bloodhound Missile Preservation Group
That is pretty awesome, Mike!

I started my IT career as a computer operator in Ferranti in Cwmbran - where the operators were expected to know the instruction set format (FIDS ABC, if I recall).

I was extremely fortunate to be working alongside some contractors who were prepared to spend some time in teaching a (enthusiastic) Welsh lad programming. I picked it up quite easily and have been grateful to those kind people ever since.
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