The great majority of the millions of software lines written by Bull and Honeywell
developers have been in the context of one of the numerous system product lines. Here, are
described software products that have been developed as a business per se and targeting
several product lines, up and including open systems.
Bull attended to the definition task of Algol60 standard that was greeted by all European
manufacturers, as being independent from the idiosyncrasies of the IBM 704 architecture,
engraved in Fortran.
It developed in 1961-1942 a compiler on the Gamma 60 that offered a large subset of the
language. The lack of virtual memory and the scarcity of main memory caused difficulties in
the implementation of recursive procedures.
Bull (with RCA?) delivered an Algol compiler on the Gamma 30.
When the GE-635 was introduced, BGE sent engineers in Phoenix to help to implement the
Algol 60 compiler, considered as necessary for the European scientific market.
- Algol 68
In 1963-1967, Bull participated in the international (ECMA) team for the specification of
Algol 68. A small team under the leadership of Henri Leroy designed the base of a compiler
for that language. The effort was discontinued at the end of 1967.
Bull was introduced to Cobol through the support of the RCA 301 compiler. There was an
attempt to define a French version of the language and to build a translator to standard
COBOL (1962). For the Gamma 140, the first French-made COBOL compiler (written in COBOL)
The implementation of COBOL on GE-400 went smoothly, that of the GE-635 was more painful.
COBOL 68 took a significant advantage from the EIS hardware feature. COBOL 74 compiler
(handling ASCII data) was inspired of the development made by Honeywell Boston for Level
64 and was extremely powerful.
The initial development in 1971 of the COBOL compiler for Level 64 was made by Honeywell
Waltham software team, that has a good experience of H-200 COBOL. In 1975, the continuation
and the evolution of the compiler were transferred to Jean Bourgain's team in Paris. The
compiler was written in HPL and produced directly object code .
The first Fortran compiler implemented by Bull in Paris was on the Gamma M-40 in
1964. It was modeled on IBM 7040 compiler.
General Electric at Schenectady produced the first Fortran compiler for the GE-600 a
In the early 1970s, Honeywell-Bull developed the Fortran IV compiler for
BASIC was invented at Dartmouth College on a GE 265. When Bull used internally and market
time-sharing services circa 1965, this language became a popular interactive language
inside GE and Bull (on 265 and Mark III marketed by GEISD and under GECOS III TSS).
PL/1 was not considered as very important by Bull's customers and it was the fact that it
has been selected as Multics implementation language that it kept the attention of
PL/1 was developed by Toshiba for GCOS8 and in the late 1970s a full PL/1 compiler was
implemented for GCOS7.
The use of High Level Language for Honeywell New Product Line was decided soon after the
GE merger in 1970. The Multics experience on PL/1 lead Paris and Billerica to define a
subset of PL/1 as the implementation language with, initially, a
cross-compiler under Multics (cross-compiler written in Multics PL/1)
The limitation of the throughput of the Multics-based software factory led CHB
"hardware department" to develop another software factory on a GE-635 where the
implementation language was MLP, a PL/1 syntax like, but compiled by a macro-processor
producing NAL assembly language. Mix of MLP and NAL was authorized. A substantial part of
initial GCOS 64 products and the GE-100 emulator on Level 64 used MLP. Use of MLP has
disappeared progressively in the 1970s.
GPL General Programming Language is the name under which the GCOS7 implementation
language HPL (Honeywell Programming Language) has been marketed in the 1980s
While GCOS III was entirely developed in the assembler GMAP. Toshiba, having access to
Honeywell license, took advantage of Billerica's initial work on Level64 HPL to develop an
implementation language and a compiler for Level66 NSA architecture. That compiler was
reintroduced by Phoenix as a GCOS8 development tool and used for the newest programs.
- Macro generator
As a tool for the development of GCOS64 (preprocessor of system calls and declarations and
JCL processing), Bull developed a general purpose recursive macroprocessor, inspired from
MIT's TRAC. It was specified by Nguyen Van Binh and the processor was improved by Jacques Printz
LIS was an experimental implementation language designed by Jean Ichbiah on Siris8. LIS
was not used on commercial CII products. LIS was inspired by Pascal and Simula and has
contributed to the definition of ADA.
While CII-HB (associated to Honeywell) has been selected by the U.S. Department of Defense
for its implementation language, Bull did not use ADA nor design any compiler for it. Soon
after the selection Jean Ichbiah and his team founded their own company, ALSYS.
Kool is a processor, written in LISP, of artiifcial
intelligence high-level language developed at Groupe Bull's CEDIAG by Jean
Rohmer's team. It has momentarily been used for a company wide system
configurator circa 1985.
Machines Bull discovered APL in the early 1960, when R Pierre-Hughes attempted to use that
language for simulating a new processor. As VM/CMS was becoming popular in France in the
1970s, some software house developed packages using APL. So, Honeywell-Bull developed a
APL interactive interpreter as part of IOF program. But the performance drawbacks and the
revival of BASIC thru the PC ruined the fate of APL.
a version of Simula for Siris7 was developed by Jean Ichbiah.
With the growing popularity of the C language during the 1980s; compilers were developed
for the GCOS product lines. For GCOS7, a compiler sharing its code generator
and syntax parser with other language processor was developed. But also a GNU
compiler was ported from UNIX to be used in Oracle and UNIX ports for GCOS7
Bull maintained a relatively low profile in software
development tools for customers.
Data Base Systems
General Electric pioneered
the development of data base
systems, and bet on the standardization of Codasyl chained organization in the 1970s.
Although the relational systems came into light in that period, it was only in the early
1980s that Bull introduced its products. Multics and GCOS8 introduced their internally
developed products while GCOS7 and GCOS6 adopted the port of Oracle system.
- IDS and Codasyl DBTG
Integrated Data Store was a data base
management created by Charles W Bachmann in the early 1960s on GE-225. It
use a network organization allowing more complex data organization than
hierarchical organization of this time. IDS was later ported to GE-400 and
Charlie Bachman succeeded to made IDS considered by CODASYL Data Base Task
Group and some extensions leading in particular to a more flexible mapping
between the programmer view (subschema) and the administrator view (schema).
Implementation of IDS-II took place in the early 70s for the Honeywell Level
66 (later DPS-8) and Level 64 (later DPS-7000). In those implementation
coexistence of IDS-II and more conventional indexed-sequential (named UFAS
in Honeywell) was supported.
IDS-II was conveyed in the IBM world under the form of IDMS by Cullinet.
Socrate was a data base system designed by JE Abrial, under CII contract.
The initial development was started for the CII 10070 under Siris7 by Gilles
Gautier-Villars and later by Jean Jacques La Claverie for Iris 80 (Siris8).
For the Atelier Electronique Inter-Organismes (Social Security) of Grenoble, an
implementation of Socrate was made for Siris3 for CII Iris50/60 by MM Stepanian and
Bourgne (ECA Automation)
- Relational Data Base
Codasyl DBTG suited the need of
well-planned management information system, and lacked the flexibility of
relational invented par Ed Codd, at IBM in the 1970s.
The first implementation of Relational in Honeywell occurred on MULTICS
system. A Relational Access Method was developed under GCOS-8.
On GCOS7, it was decided in 1983 not to develop or to port such a system,
but to contract with Oracle a port to the GCOS7 code and operating
system.The Bull port of Oracle was implemented as a server that evolved into
a shared memory separate processor in the late 1990s.
Computer Aided Design
Computer Aided Manufacturing
Document Retrieval Systems
Mistral was developed by CII under Siris8. It was coded in Fortran. After 1977, it was
ported on GCOS7 and GCOS8.
- COSY 1000
This application belongs to the RCA heritage in newspaper publishing. It
was developed under BS1000 and ported by CII under Siris3.
ERP Enterprise Resource Planning
ERP is probably one of the most important application
program of the 1990s
(with SAP R/3 and its competitors). General Electric was a pioneer in such activity since
the early 1960s. In the 1990s, Bull concluded an agreement with BAAN to market their ERP
on UNIX DPX-systems.
Parts Explosion System , an inventory management program on GE-400 (based on IDS-I)
GEPEX was followed by GEIMS on the GE-400 and GE-600, renamed just IMS in Honeywell
times. To the function Bill of Materials, a Production Scheduling and Control (PSC) module
was added to IMS. Honeywell-Bull became responsible of IMS development -on the Series 60-
as part of its assignment to Manufacturing Applications.
In 1976, CII-HB ported IMS to a transactional environment on GCOS 62, GCOS6, and GCOS 64
(under TDS). In the early 1980s, the GCOS7 evolved under the name IMS7.
ISM, as Integrated System Management was designed as a tool for the administration of
heterogeneous distributed systems, in particular, but not exclusively, Bull GCOS and open
systems. It was based initially upon HP OpenView and centralized on a UNIX platform.
ISM has been renamed OpenMaster and is one of asset of Evidian software subsidiary.
Revision : 20 février 2003.