SIMULA Panel Discussion: Preface

SIMULA is arguably the most significant programming language of the last quarter of the twentieth century. The first object-oriented language, it introduced the predominant programming design that carried well into the next century. Four of the eight general-use programming languages selected for HOPL II (1993) traced their conceptual roots to SIMULA. Unfortunately, the brilliant creators of SIMULA, Ole-Johan Dahl and Kristen Nygaard had passed almost a decade before the compilation of the oral histories began.

Among their joint honors are the recognition as Commanders in The Royal Order of Saint Olav by the King of Norway in 2000. In 2001 the two received the ACM A.M. Turing Award “for ideas fundamental to the emergence of object oriented programming, through their design of the programming languages Simula I and Simula 67.” A year later their contributions were recognized with the IEEE John von Neumann Medal "For the introduction of the concepts underlying object-oriented programming through the design and implementation of SIMULA 67." More information of a personal nature about Dahl and Nygaard is available in a memorial issue of the Journal of Object Technology, Vol.1, no. 4, September-October 2002.

Information regarding the development and evolution of SIMULA can be found in a number of sources; several are cited below.

Kristen Nygaard and Ole-Johan Dahl (1981) The development of the SIMULA languages. In History of Programming Languages I, Richard L. Wexelblat (ed.), Academic/ACM Press, New York, 439-480 (with added material to 493).

Jan Rune Holmevik (1994) Educating the machine: A study in the History of computing and the construction of the SIMULA programming languages. Trondheim: STS Report 22/94. 1994.

Jan Rune Holmevik (1996) The History of Simula, see http://campus.hesge.ch/Daehne/2004-2005/Langages/Simula.htm

Richard E. Nance (1996) A history of discrete event simulation programming languages. In History of Programming Languages II, Thomas L. Bergin, Jr. and Richard G. Gibson, Jr. (eds.), ACM, New York, 396-427.

Stein Krogdahl (2005) The birth of Simula. In History of Nordic Computing, Janis Bubenko, John Impagliazzo, Arne Sølvberg (eds.), Springer, 261–275.