Dijkstra and Van Wijngaarden

Here's a comment from another reviewer for my paper on `Dijkstra's Rallying Cry...':

The paper illustrates some of the animosity that existed in those days, which was undoubtedly infused by intellectual rivalry. Was it ever thus. It is interesting to recall that a similar heated situation emerged in the late 1960s in the context of ALGOL68, when van Wijngaarden split the same collection of people over his aggressive stance on his ideas of language definition. It was this form of essentially unimportant politics that did serve damage to the general non-acceptance of ALGOL68. On this occasion Dijkstra was -- as it were -- on the other side.

Indeed, Dijkstra and van Wijngaarden were on the same side when working on ALGOL60 but were rivals during the ALGOL68 effort. In fact, already in Vienna 1964 and possibly even earlier, Dijkstra had started to distance himself from van Wijngaarden  [Vienna, p.21].

[Vienna] IFIP Working Conference on Formal Language Description Languages for Computer Programming, Vienna, 1964.

 
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