[OS X TeX] Latex symbol for "define equal"

Art Werschulz agw at comcast.net
Mon Aug 20 01:19:06 CEST 2018


> On Aug 19, 2018, at 6:52 PM, Herbert Schulz <herbs at wideopenwest.com> wrote:
> I've always assumed Pascal's use of := rather than = as ``assigned to'' is because 
> x = x + 1
> used to increment a memory location assigned the name x makes no sense as a mathematical equation but
> x := x + 1
> makes sense.

The := was used for the assignment operator in Algol; you can see it in the Algol 58 Report.  (Algol was the second programming language I learned, Fortran being the first.)

As I understand it, the reason C used = rather than := for assignment was that assignment statements were more common than comparing for equality, so the more easily-typed operator was used for the more common operation.

Art Werschulz
agw at comcast.net

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