Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 5th Jun 2012 10:50 UTC
General Development "I got interested in the Soviet space program and was interested to discover that the software on the Buran spacecraft circa 1988 was written in Prolog. Does anyone know what languages might have been used in earlier missions, especially the Mars PrOP-M rover missions of the early 1970s which were somewhat autonomous and could navigate obstacles?" Absolutely fascinating.
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DRAKON
by dnebdal on Tue 5th Jun 2012 15:15 UTC
dnebdal
Member since:
2008-08-27

That led me to something I've very briefly looked at before, namely yet another diagramming style that was created for the Buran project - DRAKON. It's really quite neat; both simple and fairly well thought out (with emphasis on being non-confusing to read). There's an editor for it at sourceforge, with a decent (English) summary pdf : http://sourceforge.net/projects/drakon-editor/files/

Reply Score: 4

RE: DRAKON
by Verenkeitin on Tue 5th Jun 2012 18:02 UTC in reply to "DRAKON"
Verenkeitin Member since:
2007-07-01

Thanks for the link. I read the whole pdf.

DRAKON has the kind of Soviet technological aesthetics I like. Simplest possible thing that robustly doest what you need.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: DRAKON
by Radio on Tue 5th Jun 2012 19:39 UTC in reply to "RE: DRAKON"
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

I am completely flabbergasted that they use a visual coding language. Many people tried the concept, and it never had any success (I remember how much criticism received Google (now MIT) App Inventor) - and now, we have a prime example, moreover in actual use, moreover in critical applications.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: DRAKON
by Treza on Tue 5th Jun 2012 20:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: DRAKON"
Treza Member since:
2006-01-11

I am completely flabbergasted that they use a visual coding language. Many people tried the concept, and it never had any success (I remember how much criticism received Google (now MIT) App Inventor) - and now, we have a prime example, moreover in actual use, moreover in critical applications.


Visual programming languages/methods are actually used _a lot_ in critical applications.

For example :
http://www.esterel-technologies.com/products/scade-suite/

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: DRAKON
by jebb on Tue 5th Jun 2012 21:36 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: DRAKON"
jebb Member since:
2006-07-06

Not to mention the ladder logic type of programming used in millions of industrial setups around the world to program PLCs and such.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: DRAKON
by Neolander on Tue 5th Jun 2012 21:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: DRAKON"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Maybe DRAKON was kind of like LabView : everyone hates it, but it takes quite a bit of effort not to use it anyway since it essentially has support for everything a computer can interface with. Or maybe them crazy Soviets actually found a way to make visual programming an attractive way to write and debug programs...

Edited 2012-06-05 21:24 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: DRAKON
by kwan_e on Tue 5th Jun 2012 23:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: DRAKON"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

Maybe DRAKON was kind of like LabView : everyone hates it, but it takes quite a bit of effort not to use it anyway since it essentially has support for everything a computer can interface with. Or maybe them crazy Soviets actually found a way to make visual programming an attractive way to write and debug programs...


From what is written about it, it's more like DRAKON was used just as a diagramming documentation for algorithm communication, which is not exactly a "visual programming language".

DRAKON doesn't seem to be that difficult and they consciously avoided the problems of traditional flow charts. They're also limited in scope, unlike UML.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: DRAKON
by Neolander on Wed 6th Jun 2012 17:28 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: DRAKON"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Very good point !

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: DRAKON
by BeamishBoy on Wed 6th Jun 2012 01:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: DRAKON"
BeamishBoy Member since:
2010-10-27

As pointed out by Treza, visual programming languages are actually quite common in many specialized areas. An excellent case in point is The Mathworks' Simulink, which is used extensively in engineering applications.

Come to think of it, I'm sure I saw Simulink in use when I interned at a hedge fund many moons ago as a rudimentary market dynamics simulator for stock index futures.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: DRAKON
by kwan_e on Wed 6th Jun 2012 15:19 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: DRAKON"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

Come to think of it, I'm sure I saw Simulink in use when I interned at a hedge fund many moons ago as a rudimentary market dynamics simulator for stock index futures.


They quickly abandoned it when they couldn't simulate a perpetual motion machine that generates forever growing profits.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by TBPrince
by TBPrince on Tue 5th Jun 2012 16:00 UTC
TBPrince
Member since:
2005-07-06

Soviet computer information is still a very undiscovered topic. I'm sure there would be a lot of funny and great things.

Reply Score: 5

Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Tue 5th Jun 2012 19:03 UTC
MOS6510
Member since:
2011-05-12

If would be great fun if someone got hold of the code and build a simulator based on it.

Reply Score: 2

v Let me guess!
by jefro on Tue 5th Jun 2012 19:20 UTC
RE: Let me guess!
by Neolander on Tue 5th Jun 2012 19:26 UTC in reply to "Let me guess!"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

You know, that obsession of yours with people stealing stuff is not very healthy... ;)

Reply Score: 5

RE: Let me guess!
by martijn on Tue 5th Jun 2012 20:09 UTC in reply to "Let me guess!"
martijn Member since:
2010-11-06

@Jeffrey. They did exactly the same as the Americans: get all German scientist and material you can lay your hands on and start from there.
Apart from that, the Russians were a lot more efficient than Americans. Whereas the Americans reinvented the wheel every time another company was granted the project, the Russians built steadily further on their experience, under the same lead engineer throughout ~2 decades. Which is why the ISS is nowadays supplied by the Russians, not the Americans.
I think you are mistaken with the atomic bomb.

Edited 2012-06-05 20:10 UTC

Reply Score: 3

(Joke)
by Aeko on Tue 5th Jun 2012 20:03 UTC
Aeko
Member since:
2007-10-20

What is sure is that they used Handperfect as a main editor. ;)

Edited 2012-06-05 20:03 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by benb320
by benb320 on Tue 5th Jun 2012 22:26 UTC
benb320
Member since:
2010-02-23

I've always wanted to know more about soviet computers

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by benb320
by kwan_e on Tue 5th Jun 2012 23:37 UTC in reply to "Comment by benb320"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

I've always wanted to know more about soviet computers


You're in luck, because Soviet computers want to know about you!

Reply Score: 9

Prolog
by spiderman on Wed 6th Jun 2012 06:12 UTC
spiderman
Member since:
2008-10-23

I've learnt Prolog at school. It's a bit like LISP but with less parentheses. It is less ugly and easier to read than LISP.
Note: Anything is easier to read than LISP anyway.
Note2: Except PERL, of course.

Reply Score: 1

In Soviet Russia...
by tomcat on Wed 6th Jun 2012 06:21 UTC
tomcat
Member since:
2006-01-06

... Programming languages program you...

Reply Score: 1