AT&T Tech Channel

About this video

Bell Laboratories has been known for nurturing the production of various computer languages, from the general (B, C and UNIX) to the specific, like this one described in this film, “(Bell) Laboratories’ Low Level Linked List Language” (or “L6” for short). This film is part I, which describes the language, created by computer scientist Ken Knowlton. (Part II contained an example of a program written in L6, and is twice as long.)

According to Knowlton, the advantage of L6 was that it permitted "the user to get much closer to machine code in order to write faster-running programs, to use storage more efficiently and to build a wider variety of linked data structures."

Besides L6, Knowlton also authored the programming language BEFLIX for computer graphics, and EXPLOR, which was designed for artists, among others. (Note: The L6 films were made using the BEFLIX language.)

Knowlton worked at Bell Labs from 1962 to 1982. He also appears in Incredible Machine, a film from 1968 about computer communications explorations at Bell Labs.

Footage Courtesy of AT&T Archives and History Center, Warren, NJ

Release date: 08/06/2012

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