Broerelaan 14
The Netherlands
January 6th, 1963


            My dear friends,

Enclosed you will find a draft copy of an article that I intend to submit to C.A.C.M. for publication. (Mike Woodger will find two copies, because I ask him, as usual, to correct and improve my English wherever he judges this appropriate.) I should appreciate it very much when you would be so kind to give your comments.

I have a feeling that I must ask you to regard this letter as somewhat confidential, in order to avoid any form of pressure on the Editors of the C.A.C.M.. I have discussed this review with Mike and he thought that they would accept it; I am not so sure. At that time, Mike did not know what I was going to write. (Neither did I: I made the study of the paper tape facilities only recently, when the first pages of this article had already been written. As you will be able to imagine, my anger mounted in the course of this work. As a result, the document has not been written "straight under the Christmas Tree"!) I quote from Mike's letter: "It would be an excellent thing if you offered a machine review to the C.A.C.M., and if they accepted it, as I believe they might. The more objective criticism they get from someone known to think before writing, the better for everyone. I have asked various opinions about this and nobody sees any harm in it." Is this what Mike calls "objective criticism"? You may be assured that I have thought very hard the last few days, but can I help it that the machine is not any better? (The foul properties of the multiplication have remained unmentioned, one has to stop somewhere!).

You do not need to check the correctness of my statements about the machine: I shall have them checked by my colleagues in Eindhoven who know the machine better than I do. I should appreciate you pointing out if, in your opinion, my indignation has been stronger than my prudency, in particular if it [has] "purely offensive" paragraphs which might give the Editors of the C.A.C.M. an argument for refusing it.

I intend to add the following Acknowledgement: "I should like to end by expressing my most sincere thanks to a number of my friends and colleagues, who contributed in various way to this study and its publication but for whom it might be preferable to remain anonymous."

Although all of you lead busy lives, may I ask you the favour of a quick reaction? The sooner this weight is off my chest, the better.

Your sincerely                  


copies to:
D.Hartley, 48 Howard Close, Cambridge, England
F.Duncan, 25 Clowes Avenue, Alsager, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs., England
P.Naur, Begoniavej 20, Gentofte, Denmark
M.Woodger, Woodeaton, 10 Ottways Lane, Ashtead, Surrey, England
A.van Wijngaarden, Bovenkerkerkade 3, Amstelveen, the Netherlands