Programming languages in MTS

MTS languagesm created at


Language Introduction Features Sample program
BASIC Intro Features Narcissistic numbers
FORTRAN Intro Features Emirp prime
MAD Intro Features Mergesort
ALGOL 60 Intro Features Josephus problem
ALGOL W Intro Features Priority queue
LISP Intro Features Four bit adder
PL/1 Intro Features 1
Features 2
Radix sort
SNOBOL Intro Features Date formats
RATFOR Intro Features Emirp primes
FLECS Intro Features Emirp primes
PIL Intro Features Roman numerals
APL Intro Features Knuth shuffle
Assembler Intro Features Caesar cipher
GPSS Intro - -
PLUS Intro Features Grep
PL360 Intro - -


MTS supported over 40 languages, representing a cross-section of programming tools available in 1988, from well known ones like LISP and FORTRAN to the more obscure such as GOM and PLUS.

In this series of posts I will take a look at each of these - plan of attack is 1-3 posts per language covering:

  1. A brief introduction, how to get it working on MTS and “Hello World”
  2. A tour of language features
  3. A more complex example, either implementing a task from Rosetta Stone or running a classic piece of code for that language.

Some languages may warrant more or less attention, and I will also look at the programming environment such as the debugger and link editor.

Trying to do all this may be quixotic - and I may lose interest among all the FORTRAN dialects - but it will be interesting to see what was available then and how they compare to the languages of today.

I am a working programmer by trade rather than an academic so don’t expect too much deep insight or theory - and if you spot any mistakes please let me know.

For new users of MTS, follow the setup guide, log on as a regular user such as ST01 and check the ‘Prerequisites’ section in the first article for each language for how to get it running - in most cases no extra work is needed once you have MTS running.

Source code

Source code for each of the examples can be found on Github.

Coming up later

Specialised languages

Cross assemblers

I will probably not look at these, unless they are especially interesting.

Further information

This list is based on the information in the MTS Archive describing what languages were available at the time of D6.0 and which work today, including those where there is no license available.


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