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JOSS Conversational Computing for the Non programmer

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129384D
Original Publication Date: 1982-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-05
Document File: 20 page(s) / 86K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

SHIRLEY L. MARKS: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

JOSS, the JOHNNIAC Open-Shop System, is a conversational time-sharing system developed at the Rand Corporation to demonstrate, on a small scale, the value of time-sharing and easy access to computing power for the nonprogrammer. In three computer implementations from May 1963 to the 1980s, JOSS has provided an English-like language that is easy to learn and use by trial and error at a terminal. Thus this earliest of simple on-line systems has enabled the computer novice to explore to advantage many small computational problems that might not be worth the effort in another computing environment.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1982 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

JOSS Conversational Computing for the Non programmer

SHIRLEY L. MARKS

  (Image Omitted: © 1982 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc Permission to copy without fee all or part of this material is granted provided that the copies are not made or distributed for direct commercial advantage, the AFIPS copyright notice and the title of the publication and its date appear, and notice is given that copying is by permission of the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. To copy otherwise, or to republish, requires specific permission Author's Address: 2873 Globe Avenue, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360. © 1982 AFIPS 0164-1239/82/010035-052

JOSS Conversational Computing for the Non programmer

SHIRLEY L. MARKS .00/00)

JOSS, the JOHNNIAC Open-Shop System, is a conversational time-sharing system developed at the Rand Corporation to demonstrate, on a small scale, the value of time-sharing and easy access to computing power for the nonprogrammer. In three computer implementations from May 1963 to the 1980s, JOSS has provided an English-like language that is easy to learn and use by trial and error at a terminal. Thus this earliest of simple on-line systems has enabled the computer novice to explore to advantage many small computational problems that might not be worth the effort in another computing environment.

Categories and Subject Descriptors: D 3.2 [Programming Languages]: Language Classifications; K. 2 [History of Computing] -- oftware, JOSS; hardware, JOHNNIAC General Terms: Human Factors, Languages Additional Key Words and Phrases: time-sharing

1. Implementing an Ideal

Shortly after the Rand Corporation moved to its present location in Santa Monica, California, in early 1953, the JOHNNIAC was completed and installed as Rand's first stored-program computer. Eight years later, this Princeton-type computing machine (named for mathematician John von Neumann) became the basis for JOSS,11 the JOHNNIAC Open-Shop System.

The first truly simple on-line system, JOSS represents a milestone in the history of conversational timesharing. In the years of its operation at Rand (1963 to the 1980s), JOSS has more than lived up to its billing as "The Helpful Assistant." But more significant than its long service to the Rand staff has been its influence on interactive system design.

JOSS was the result of an experimental project at Rand that was meant to demonstrate, on a small scale, the value of time-sharing and easy access to computing power for the nonprogrammer. Although few of today's time-sharing users may know its name, many are benefiting from JOSS concepts of user-oriented language and terminal. These concepts had

1 1 JOSS is the trademark and service mark of the Rand Corporation for its computer program and services using this progra...