A high level assembly language



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The usual choice of programming languages for systems programming has been the basic symbolic assembly language for each machine. The major disadvantage of this approach is well known: it is difficult even for the original programmer to comprehend what is written. Also, the software written in one machine's assembly language is essentially useless on another machine. So portability is another problem with this approach. The use of higher level languages such as FORTRAN cannot be used because it blocks access or efficient use of many important instructions in any machine's assembly language. In this study, a high level assembly language is proposed which provides all the capabilities of a machine's instruction set, but offers a dramatic improvement in intelligibility. The high level syntax is used to improve readability, but not to the extent.that there is not a simple mapping between a given instruction set and the proposed high level language. Portability becomes less of a problem, because mapping tables between each instruction set and the high level language can be interchanged freely. Structured programming is supported--linear sequence, selection (if-then) and repetition (while-do) control structures are included in the syntax of the high level assembly language.