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NOTE: use Perl; is on undef hiatus. You can read content, but you can't post it. More info will be forthcoming forthcomingly.

All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Fortran had mandatory whitespace / indents -- columns 1-6 and 73-80 were sacred. (There weren't columns past 80 in Fortran, since even on TTY Fortran "knew" it was reading "cards" *sigh*)

    Google finds us a reference [umd.edu] from which I can reconstruct the following, which I could almost have recited from slowly fading memory:

    • Statement labels in columns 1 to 5
    • C or * in column 1 indicates comment
    • Non-zero non-blank in Column 6 is Continuation marker (like \ at end of line, except at beginning of next line!)
    • Statements in columns 7 to 72
    • 73-end (80 nom) ignored, used for sequence numbers (in case you dropped your deck) -- or revision markers for version control, if you were really daring, or had migrated to all tape-and-disk.

    There was a Fortran IV pre-processor called FLEX that could not only pretty-print your code with ascii arrows but would parse the pretty-printed form if you edited it. (It was a competitor to Bell's RATFOR and a precursor of the new-fangled Fortran 77, not to be confused with Flex 2, which was more pascalene deviant fortran, and the Gnu Flex which is rather different altogether.) The parselmouths or herpetologists may not count it as a precursor influence, but it was the first Fortran to extend mandatory whitespace into the statement area!

    Yes, I said "card" and referred to a standard promulgated in 1977 as new-fangled; these tools may have been obsolescent before you were born, if you don't remember the Great Renaming.

    --
    Bill
    # I had a sig when sigs were cool
    use Sig;