COMAL is an important part of Danish computer
COMAL was developed as a structured derivative
of BASIC in the late 70'ties by Børge Christensen. Originally
it was developed I believe on the Danish RC 7000 computer from Regnecentralen.
My 8th grade computer science teacher told me back in 1983 or 1984 or
so, that when he learned using COMAL on the RC7000, they used paper
tape to load the interpreter!
COMAL was very popular in schools for teaching
programming in the early 80'es. At that time, before the PC, schools
would typically have Z-80 based RC Piccolo or ICL Comet computers with
CP/M, and later RC Piccoline and Partner (running ConcurrentCP/M-86
on 80188 and 80186, I believe.)
The original CP/M-80/86 COMAL-80 (80 being the
year of the COMAL version, not a CPU type) was made by a company that
I don't recall the name of.
UniComal made a version for the Commodore-64,
which gained nearly the same popularity as the computer itself. This
COMAL version was enhanced quite a lot, in that it had some modularity
(packs) and didn't require EXEC to call a procedure (you could just
type the name as in Pascal).The UniComal variant gained some worldwide
popularity and was certainly ported to DOS. Others did versions for
various Z-80 based computers, most now forgotten. I don't know if a
version for OS/2 ever existed.
Meanwhile, BASIC had catched up, and structured
BASIC variants were getting common. Also, COMPAS Pascal (which was repackaged
by Borland as Turbo Pascal, COMPAS Pascal 3.0 being almost identical
with Turbo Pascal 1.0) captured a lot of the audience that would have
been using COMAL, for both CP/M and DOS. Then the PC became popular,
and the rest is history.
Peter Ehnbom from Sweden adds:
The piccolo could use a card for RJE(remote job entry) called IBM
that's means batch processing, to send payments lists as confirmation
or to punch bookkeeping and send a batch which was good because you had an unlimited number of transactions, sometimes the online
application was limiting. So it was easier to move your bookkeeping...