programming career I was using Common Lisp and a couple of different
Modula-like languages. My employer, Data General, also had an Ada
compiler which I dinked around with. And we had a home-grown
compiler-compiler and a home-grown Ada-ish like language. Not long
after the Mac 512 was out and I had ExperLisp, MacScheme, Manx C, and
who can remember what else.
I was immersed in languages. Reading the journal "Software Practice
and Experience" I believe was the first time I encountered Per Brinch
Hansen's language, Edison.
"The Design of Edison" (pdf): http://brinch-hansen.net/papers/1981b.pdf
I absolutely fell in love with Edison for many months. I built a
mini-Edison compiler and run-time in Common Lisp. The Edison book had
all the source code, in Edison.
Edison is Brinch Hansen's really nice attempt at a minimalist
Concurrent Pascal. If you can imagine a Pascal that is more Pascal
than Pascal, then you've imagined Edison.
"In designing the programming language Edison I tried to do two things:
(1) to achieve simplicity by questioning the necessity of a number of well-
known language concepts, and (2) to gain new insight by deliberately ap-
proaching language design with a philosophy that is completely diﬀerent
from the spirit in which Concurrent Pascal was designed."
"The ﬁrst viewpoint gradually led to the omission of many language fea-
multiple class instances
Ultimately Edison did not hold my attention as a minimalist language.
I was discovering Scheme as a minimalist Lisp about the same time, and
Scheme did hold my attention. I never had a full Edison running, but I
still think building something large-ish in it would have been time
I've been building a very simple, minimalist Lisp in ActionScript 3
based on a renewed interest in building simple operating systems in
Lisp. I started re-reading "The Design of Edison" from SP&E, and I
just ordered the Edison book, as it's been 15-20 years since I sold my