The Algol 68 Genie project

The development of Algol played an important role in establishing computer science as an academic discipline. Algol 68 was designed by the International Federation for Information Processing, Working Group 2.1 on Algorithmic Languages and Calculi (IFIP WG2.1). The Mathematisch Centrum Amsterdam (nowadays CWI, Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica) was a leading institute in this process, as it was in later years in the development of Python.

The Algol 68 Genie project preserves Algol 68 out of educational as well as scientific-historical interest, by making available a recent implementation written from scratch, together with extensive documentation for both the language and this new implementation. With the material available here, those interested in the history of computer science may study Algol 68 and its unique context-dependent two-level grammar to understand the influence it had, but also actually use the language for medium-sized programming tasks.

Algol 68 Genie is free software distributed under the GNU General Public License; it is a fast compiler-interpreter which ranks among the most complete implementations of the language.

From this site you can download the current version and its documentation. The distribution lets you build Algol 68 Genie from source code on Linux or related operating systems. For Microsoft Windows 10 and 11 a WIN32 executable a68g.exe is provided that can be run using a command line interpreter as Windows Powershell.

The documentation consists of detailed installation instructions, a comprehensive guide to programming in Algol 68, and the Revised Report on Algol 68.

Alternatively, you can browse the source code and example Algol 68 programs.

Please send comments and bug reports to; your feedback will be appreciated.

References to Algol 68 Genie

IFIP WG2.1 Algol resources
IFIP WG2.1 has continuing responsibility for Algol 60 and Algol 68.

Algol 68 implementations and dialects
Software Preservation Group, Computer History Museum.

ALGOL: the father of mainstream languages
Mike Bedford, Linux Format (302) [2023]

Two-level grammars: Some interesting properties of van Wijngaarden grammars
Luis M. Augusto, Omega - Journal of Formal Languages(1) [2023]

Strange Code - Esoteric Languages That Make Programming Fun Again
Ronald T. Kneusel, No Starch Press, San Fransisco [2022]

Learn a new old language by programming a game in Algol 68
Chris Hermansen, [2020]

Exploring Algol 68 in the 21st century
Chris Hermansen, [2020]

Algol revisited
Paul Mallison, Crystallography News, British Crystallographic Association [2020]

Topics in Programming Languages, a Philosophical Analysis through the case of Prolog
Luís Homem, Universidad de Salamanca, Facultad de Filosofia [2018]

Algol 68 – A Retrospective
Daniel James, [2018]

Localización e internacionalización de software: puntos de encuentro entre el localizador y el programador
Luis Alberto García Nevares, Universidad de Salamanca, Facultad de Traducción y Documentación [2016]

Algol 68 Genie on Rosetta Code

Algol 68 on Wikipedia

Posts in "Algol 68"

Marcel van der Veer Algol 68
A perspective of Algol 68
March 2023

To better understand the position of Algol 68 among today’s plethora of programming languages, we should consider their development …

Marcel van der Veer Algol 68
Announcing Algol 68 Genie 3.0
December 2021

I have released the current source as version 3.0. I have also updated the documentation, Learning Algol 68 Genie …

Marcel van der Veer Algol 68
A brief history of Algol 68 Genie
November 2016

Being the author of Algol 68 Genie, people frequently ask me why a physical chemist wrote an Algol 68 compiler …

Marcel van der Veer Algol 68
Announcing Algol 68 Genie 2.0
September 2010

I have posted Algol 68 Genie Version 2.0.0 and its documentation …

Marcel van der Veer Algol 68
Revised Report on the Algorithmic Language Algol 68
June 2009

This is a translation of the Algol 68 Revised Report into HTML, for distribution with Algol 68 Genie, an Open Source Algol 68 interpreter …

Marcel van der Veer Algol 68
Announcing Algol 68 Genie 1.0
September 2002

Algol 68 was conceived as a successor to Algol 60 …

Posts in "Computing history"

Marcel van der Veer Computing history
FORTRAN - lingua franca with a promising future behind it
March 2022

In the eighties, science undergraduates like me took a course in structured programming at the computer science department …

Marcel van der Veer Computing history
VM/CMS and MVS/TSO reunited
October 2021

Virtualisation began half a century ago as a method of sharing mainframe resources between different operating systems, applications or users …

Marcel van der Veer Computing history
Algol68C on MVS revisited
August 2018

As the author of Algol 68 Genie I am interested in having access to other Algol 68 compilers for reference purposes …

Marcel van der Veer Computing history
Running Algol68C on MVS
October 2012

Recently, Algol68C Release 1.3039 was made public for download …