Vadim Zaytsev aka @grammarware

Edsger Dijkstra's book DYOL: Design Your Own Language

Book sourcesLanguage Documentation — Edsger Dijkstra

E. W. Dijkstra, A Primer of ALGOL 60 Programming, Academic Press, 1962.

	title     = "{A Primer of ALGOL 60 Programming}",
	author    = "Edsger Wybe Dijkstra",
	publisher = "Academic Press",
	series    = "APIC Studies in Data Processing",
	volume    = 2,
	isbn      = "978-0122162503",
	year      = 1962,

LD-ED was an interesting challenge since its style is different from both compiler books and from modern language documents. Sections have unhelpful Dijkstraesque names: “local quantities” mean the Order of declarations, “formal parameters” is about Scope & Binding, etc. Interestingly, Character Type (strings) are neither mentioned nor used in this book, except in the appendix which contains Backus et al.'s Revised Report on the Algorithmic Language Algol 60.


The DYOL toolkit was created and is maintained by Dr. Vadim Zaytsev a.k.a. @grammarware. Page last updated in March 2021.