OpenVMS Boot Camp 2015
A BLISS Primer

Track: Programming

Norman Lastovica, Engineer, Software Concepts International

The BLISS programming language originated at Carnegie-Mellon University in 1969, originally for the DEC PDP-10. BLISS was adopted as DEC's implementation language for use on its new line of VAX computers in 1975. DEC developed a completely new generation of BLISSs for the VAX, PDP-10 and PDP-11, which became widely used at DEC through the 1990s. With the creation of the Alpha architecture and the growth of IA32 and IA64 architectures, BLISS was enhance and implemented there as well. In addition to within OpenVMS itself, many layered products and associated components are developed primarily in BLISS. As a programming language on OpenVMS, BLISS is structured, expression-oriented, free, mature, well documented, includes an extensive macro capability (recursive and iterative), runs on all 3 platforms, and includes extensive support in STARLET and LIB. This session provides an introduction to BLISS for people familiar with other programming languages and on OpenVMS in particular. The unique capabilities and characteristics of BLISS discussed include the use of an explicit contents of operator (written as a period or ‘dot’), an algorithmic approach to data structure definition, begin an expression language, and its unusually rich compile-time language. Those wishing to understand the OpenVMS listings, to implement applications and systems will gain insight in to the use and behavior of BLISS. BLISS compilers for OpenVMS VAX, Alpha and IA64 are available on the OpenVMS freeware CD providing a free, powerful, and standard implementation language for OpenVMS.

Experience Level