TLDR: ALGOL 60 is a computer programming language that was developed in the 1960s. It introduced important concepts like code blocks and function definitions, and it influenced many other programming languages that came after it.
ALGOL 60, short for Algorithmic Language 1960, is a member of the ALGOL family of computer programming languages. It was developed as a successor to ALGOL 58, which introduced code blocks and the "begin" and "end" pairs for organizing code. ALGOL 60 was one of the first languages to implement function definitions that could be used recursively. It also allowed for nested function definitions, which was a new concept at the time. ALGOL 60 had a significant impact on the development of other programming languages, including C, Pascal, and Simula.
The language was standardized in 1960, along with COBOL, making it one of the first languages to seek standardization. However, different implementations of ALGOL 60 had their own input/output facilities, which made it difficult to write portable code.
ALGOL 60 was primarily used by research computer scientists in the United States and Europe. Its use in commercial applications was limited due to the lack of standard input/output facilities and the lack of interest from large computer vendors. However, ALGOL 60 became the standard for publishing algorithms and had a significant impact on the development of future programming languages.
One of the key figures in the development of ALGOL 60 was John Backus, who developed the Backus-Naur form for describing programming languages. Peter Naur also played a significant role in the development of ALGOL 60 and served as the editor of the ALGOL 60 report.
Overall, ALGOL 60 was an important milestone in the history of computer programming languages. It introduced many concepts that are still used today and influenced the development of numerous programming languages.