Stanford Artificial Intelligence Language

<language> (SAIL) Dan Swinehart & Bob Sproull, Stanford AI Project, 1970. A large ALGOL 60-like language for the DEC-10 and DEC-20. Its main feature is a symbolic data system based upon an associative store (originally called LEAP). Items may be stored as unordered sets or as associations (triples). Processes, events and interrupts, contexts, backtracking and record garbage collection. Block- structured macros. "Recent Developments in SAIL - An ALGOL-based Language for Artificial Intelligence", J. Feldman et al, Proc FJCC 41(2), AFIPS (Fall 1972). (See MAINSAIL).

The Stanford Artificial Intelligence Language used at SAIL (the place). It was an ALGOL 60 derivative with a coroutining facility and some new data types intended for building search trees and association lists.

A number of interesting software systems were coded in SAIL, including early versions of FTP and TeX and a document formatting system called PUB.

In 1978, there were half a dozen different operating systems for the PDP-10: WAITS (Stanford), ITS (MIT), TOPS-10 (DEC), CMU TOPS-10 (CMU), TENEX (BBN), and TOPS-20 (DEC, after TENEX).

SAIL was ported from WAITS to ITS so that MIT researchers could make use of software developed at Stanford University. Every port usually required the rewriting of I/O code in each application.

[Jargon File]

Last updated: 2001-06-22

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