LISP, CHAP, and FLOP

From the foreword to The Seasoned Schemer:

“LISP” originally stood for “LISt Processing.” By the same token, I suppose that the C programming language could have been called CHAP (for “CHAracter Processing”) and Fortran could have been called FLOP (for “FLOating-point processing”).

Guy L Steele Jr.

6 thoughts on “LISP, CHAP, and FLOP

  1. IT’S FORTRAN, NOT Fortran! EVERYTHING WAS UPPER CASE BACK THEN! #YESIHAVETYPEDFORTRANONAKEYPUNCHMACHINE #029

  2. Needless to say FORTRAN means FORmula TRANslator already, because it translated formulas in common notation (mostly) to machine code. Also, why is C a “character processors”? maybe a “HIgh LEvel MEmory MAnager” (HILEMEMA) is a better description. Also FORTRAN existed even before floating-point (as opposed to fixed point arithmetic). didn’t it?

  3. > Also, why is C a “character processors”? maybe a “HIgh LEvel
    > MEmory MAnager” (HILEMEMA) is a better description.

    Because, in C, one byte is one character. Everything else is built on top of that.

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