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Speedcoding or Speedcode was the first higher-level language created for an IBM computer [1]. The language was developed by John Backus in 1953 for the IBM 701 to support computation with floating point numbers [2]. The system was an interpreter and focused on ease of use at the expense of system resources.


  1. Allen, F.E.. "The History of Language Processor Technology in IBM". IBM Journal of Research Development 25 (5, September 1981). 
  2. Shasha, Dennis; Cathy Lazere (1998). Out of their Minds: The Lives and Discoveries of 15 Great Computer Scientists. New York: Springer-Verlag New York, Inc.. ISBN 0-387-98269-8. 


  • Backus, John, "The IBM 701 Speedcoding System", Journal of the ACM (JACM), Volume 1, Issue 1 (January 1954), pp. 4-6,
  • Backus, John W.; Harlan, Herrick (May 1954). "IBM 701 Speedcoding and Other Automatic-programming Systems". Proc. Symp. on Automatic Programming for Digital Computer. Washington DC, The Office of Naval Research. pp. 106–113. 
  • Sammet, Jean E. (1969). Programming Languages: History and Fundamentals. Prentice-Hall. 

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