TRAC programming language

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Name TRAC programming language
Not to be confused with a bunch of other things named TRAC or Trac, including an open-source bug-tracker.

TRAC (Text Reckoning and Compiling) is a programming language invented by Calvin Mooers in the 1960s, and featured in Ted Nelson's book Computer Lib in the 1970s. Like LISP, it has a syntax involving huge numbers of parentheses which build up nested structures, though where the basic elements of LISP are lists, TRAC is based around text strings. Since the operators of TRAC are themselves text strings, programs are able to be self-modifying.

While there were open-source projects involving TRAC as late as the 2000s, none appear to be active at the moment. While living, Mooers (who died in 1994) was vigorous in protecting intellectual property rights to the name TRAC (which he registered a trademark on), even at one point suing DEC for selling a computer with a TRAC interpreter not licensed from him. Despite that, the name ended up getting used for several unrelated software-related projects (as well as Trusted Repository Audit Criteria in the archiving field), confusingly enough.


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