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Icon is a high-level programming language with extensive
facilities for processing strings and structures. Icon has
several novel features, including expressions that may produce
sequences of results, goal-directed evaluation that automatically
searches for a successful result, and string scanning that allows
operations on strings to be formulated at a high conceptual
level.
Icon emphasizes high-level string processing and a design phi-
losophy that allows ease of programming and short, concise pro-
grams. Storage allocation and garbage collection are automatic in
Icon, and there are few restrictions on the sizes of objects.
Strings, lists, and other structures are created during program
execution and their size does not need to be known when a program
is written. Values are converted to expected types automati-
cally; for example, numeral strings read in as input can be used
in numerical computations without explicit conversion. Icon has
an expression-based syntax with reserved words; in appearance,
Icon programs resemble those of Pascal and C.
The language is described in R. E. Griswold and M. T. Griswold, The
Icon Programming Language, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs,
NJ, second edition, 1990.
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