back to article Wordle recreated in Pascal for the Multics operating system

Though the Wordle fad appears to be fading, engineers continue to find new and exciting places to port the game. Today we present a version using Pascal on Multics. For those either not of a certain age, or unaware of historical operating systems, Multics (Multiplexed Information and Computing Service) dates back more than …

  1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge


    The original standards based Pascals such as ISO and ANSI did not have a real "string" type. They only had fixed length character variables (which I believe could be addressed as one dimensional arrays - I'd have to look it up to check) and individual character types. It was always difficult to handle what you would now call a variable length character string, and there was literally no concept of a null terminated string.

    Many implementations of Pascal added these things, but the original standards were (deliberately) very limited

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: Pascal

      Given that all words on Wordle are 5 letters long the lack of variable length strings is hardly a problem. I once wrote a text formatter in Pascal to see if it could be done - it could, but every line was stored in an array of the maximum width, even if it was empty. On the small machines of the time that was expensive in memory.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Pascal

        Given that, and thinking about it, the perfect language to code Wordle in would be . . . wait for it . . .


  2. Arthur the cat Silver badge


    Sometimes technology is like a bizarre variant of Cluedo:

    It was Wordle in Pascal under Multics that did it.

  3. Borg.King


    I used Multics when at Brunel University in the early 80s, however its performance dropped off a cliff when a half dozen emacs sessions were started.

    Once a few VAX systems were installed elsewhere on campus though, the Multics system was no longer the golden child, and as less people used it, the fun factor increased many fold.

    1. Lord Kipper III

      Re: Performant?

      Multics seem to to have a hold on universities in that part of the UK, us engineering undergraduates at Cardiff in mid to late eighties had the use of a Multics system although Fortran and Pafec was the limits of our excitement.

    2. unused0

      Re: Performant?

      Interrupts are very heavy weight on the Multics hardware; the emacs' interrupt-per-character paradigm was rough on Multics. Later enhancements to the front end processors allowed buffering of characters and greatly reduced the impact of emacs. Also, the simulator has several times the performance of the original h/w, and everybody can afford to have there own personal Multics system.

  4. Danny 2 Silver badge

    BASIC Yahtzee

    I just learned that BASIC stands for Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code. Most of you probably know that, but most of you had a leg up.

    I programmed an excellent version of Yahtzee to teach my 17 year old apprentices coding when I was 21. Both the game and the teaching were purely voluntary and distraction from my actual work. My apprentices were more bored than me and would bet on it. I ended up winning a fair amount of unsolicited drinking money from them, which I accepted to teach them a lesson. Gambling bad, coding good. I had given them the code, about 50 lines, and they still lost.

  5. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    Given that TeX and Metafont were written in Pascal I'd say

    yes it can be done.

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