/pa skal", pah skahl"/; Fr. /panns kannl"/, n.
Blaise /blayz/; Fr. /blez/, 1623-62, French philosopher and mathematician.

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Computer programming language named for Blaise Pascal and based partly on ALGOL.

It was developed by Niklaus Wirth of Zurich's Federal Institute of Technology in the late 1960s as an educational tool for systematic teaching of programming, with fast, reliable compilers. It was made available to the public in 1974 and was used by many universities for the next 15 years. Pascal strongly influenced languages developed later, such as Ada. Complex data structures and algorithms can be described concisely by Pascal, and its programs are easy to read and debug.

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      a computer programming language developed about 1970 by Niklaus Wirth of Switzerland to teach structured programming, which emphasizes the orderly use of conditional and loop control structures without GOTO statements. Although Pascal resembled Algol in notation, it provided the ability to define data types with which to organize complex information, a feature beyond the capabilities of ALGOL as well as FORTRAN and COBOL. User-defined data types allowed the programmer to introduce names for complex data, which the language translator could then check for correct usage before running a program.

      During the late 1970s and '80s, Pascal was one of the most widely used languages for programming instruction. It was available on nearly all computers, and, because of its familiarity, clarity, and security, it was used for production software as well as for education.

David Hemmendinger

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Universalium. 2010.

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