People complain about old languages, usually before they even take a deeper look at them. Sure, some are “interesting”, to say the least. Go and read one of the language definitions from the 1960s, they are real eye-openers. Some of the language is quite interesting. Take Algol 68 for instance. Here’s a simple piece of code to calculate Fibonacci numbers:

**COMMENT**
Algol 68 program to calculate the Sieve of Eratosthenes
for some upper limit N
**COMMENT**
**PROC** eratosthenes = (INT n) []INT:
(
[n]INT sieve;
**FOR** i **TO** **UPB** sieve **DO**
sieve[i] := i
**OD**;
**INT** k = ENTIER sqrt(n);
sieve[1] := 0;
**FOR** i **FROM** 2 **TO** k **DO**
**IF** sieve[i] NE 0 **THEN**
**FOR** j **FROM** i*i **BY** i **TO** n **DO**
sieve[j] := 0
**OD**
**FI**
**OD**;
sieve
);
**INT** n;
print("Upper limit to calculate sieve? ");
read(n);
print((eratosthenes(n), newline))

If you are only use to looking at C-like code, this might look somewhat obscure, and it does get worse. But to programmers of the time, it probably seemed quite fine. Maybe we have become too complacent.

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*Related*

you can still find some of this in bash scripting: (basic and python were both inspired by algol, as im sure you know already) …and check out that pascal-style assignment syntax!