SpringerBriefs in History of Computing

Routines of Substitution

John von Neumann’s Work on Software Development, 1945–1948

Authors: Priestley, Mark

  • Presents the text of a hitherto unpublished seminal work in the history of computing
  • Provides an accessible and rich contextual discussion of an article by von Neumann
  • Describes the earliest known example of a "modern" computer program, and discusses ideas that shaped the emergence of the discipline of programming
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eBook 44,02 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-91671-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover 57,19 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-91670-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules
About this book

This work is a historical and philosophical study of the programming work carried out by John von Neumann in the period 1945-8. At the heart of the book is an examination of a manuscript featuring the earliest known surviving example of von Neumann’s coding, a routine written in 1945 to ‘mesh’ two sequences of data and intended to be part of a larger program implementing the algorithm now known as mergesort.

The text of the manuscript itself, along with a preliminary document describing the code he used to write this program, are reproduced as appendices. The program is approached in three chapters describing the historical background to von Neumann’s work, the significance of the sorting application itself, and the development of the EDVAC, the machine for which the program was written. The subsequent chapters widen the focus again, discussing the subsequent evolution of the program and the crucial topic of subroutines, before concluding by situating von Neumann’s work in a number of wider contexts. The book also offers a unifying philosophical interpretation of von Neumann’s approach to coding.

About the authors

Dr. Mark Priestley is a freelance writer and historian of computing based in London.

Table of contents (7 chapters)

  • Introduction

    Priestley, Mark

    Pages 1-7

  • Sorting and Collating

    Priestley, Mark

    Pages 9-19

  • EDVAC and Its Codes

    Priestley, Mark

    Pages 21-37

  • The 1945 Meshing Routine

    Priestley, Mark

    Pages 39-53

  • Planning and Coding

    Priestley, Mark

    Pages 55-75

Buy this book

eBook 44,02 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-91671-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover 57,19 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-91670-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Routines of Substitution
Book Subtitle
John von Neumann’s Work on Software Development, 1945–1948
Authors
Series Title
SpringerBriefs in History of Computing
Copyright
2018
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-91671-2
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-91671-2
Softcover ISBN
978-3-319-91670-5
Series ISSN
2524-6127
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VIII, 131
Number of Illustrations and Tables
8 b/w illustrations
Topics