Johann Joss answers:
I think I can answer some of your questions.
Of course my answer is my personal opinion, influenced by my personal experiences.
Other people may have different opinions.
First I want to introduce myself.
My name is Johann Joss.
I studied mathematics at ETH 1964-1968
Then I worked as an assistent
I have written a compiler for the subset of Algol 60
One of the founders Prof Rutishauser was my professor.
ETH had a CDC 1604 A computer.
There were just 3 programming languages: Algol, Fortran and Cobol.
Then a new computer, a CDC 6400/6500 system was installed.
The Algol compiler on this machine was a desaster.
Algol programs were running much slower than Fortran programs.
Also, if there was a runtime error, the whole stack was dumped on the printer,
1 variable per line.
This clearly shows, that the implementers considered
Algol as a toy, or prove of concept instead of a useful working tool.
Probably the reason for this is, that Algol was not invented in the US and
IBM was the biggest manufacturer of compuers.
There was also an much worse desaster: At this time quite some
computer scientists thought, they have to immortalize their name by
creating their own programming language.
One of these was Prof. N. Wirth.
After the death of Prof. Rutishauser he replaced Algol by Pascal for the
So one question is answered: The supporter of Algol was dead and Wirth wanted to promote his own baby.
Also, many Swiss politicians had totally lost their pride and were (and still are) hypnoticed
by America. Instead of giving good jobs to talented Swiss people, they recovered
some from America (in my opinion those which did not make it there)
They do not see, that great contributions come from Europe, such as Simula 67 (as far as I
know the first object oreinted programming language), C++, Linux, Mysql.
An other point to consider is, that despite the fact, that the ETH developped a very
succesful computer (the ERMETH) the swiss industry did not follow.
Probably none of the finance people saw the importance of computers.
The computers came from America and the compilers with them with excellent support
for Fortran and poor support for the foreign language Algol.