Macro implementation of SNOBOL4 in C

This package is a part of the Programming languages collection.

The current installation of snobol is snobol-0.99.4. This package has homepage at, and is beeing maintained by It was installed in our collection by


This is a C implementation of the original Macro SIL (SNOBOL4 Implementation Language) version of SNOBOL4, originally developed at ATT Bell Labs.

SNOBOL4, primarily known as a string processing language, excels at any task involving symbolic manipulations. The interpreter provides run-time typing, garbage collection, user defined data types, and on-the-fly sub-interpretation within a running program. Its primary weakness is a simple syntax, and a lack of "structured" constructs, although many would consider these to be strengths when compared to some "modern" and ever-changing agglomerations such as Perl.

While not computationally speedy, it is handy for minimizing development time and effort when creating data conversion tools. This is because of its data manipulation functions, associative memory data structures, and an extensive set of sophisticated built-in string pattern matching primatives.

SNOBOL4 consists of one relatively small executable file, without the scads of associated libraries and modules that make package management difficult.

Although developed in the early 1960s (the SNOBOL3 primer was published by the MIT press in 1967), some feel that it is still ahead of its time today. While it is fully functional and extensively tested, it is no longer evolving, having reached the desirable stable plateau in any programming language's life cycle.