DIRO Simula home

At the Université de Montréal, we recently ( 1994-1998 ) used Simula as the basic language to teach programming. This Web site was created at that time to help counteract the lack of information, software and support for the language. Since then, our department got overwhelmed by the Java Tidal Wave and Simula is only used peripherally. It is small consolation to us Simula fans that all students who were exposed to the language feel Simula would have been a much better base than C++ from which to develop "Java". [ Update - jan 2000; Now back to the original text ]

We had been using Simula in simulation courses since 1970 when we found it bundled on our CDC computer. Simula was also used for the main case study in our advanced OS course. This case study, which involves writing an operating system for a simulated computer, has been with us for over 20 years.

At the time, we thought Simula too exotic to use for basic programming; however, the recent OO craze (early 90's) made us re-evaluate OO languages (including Simula) for teaching. To our surprise, Simula turned out to be head and shoulders better than the competition in terms of simplicity, power, security and stability. To be fair, we should say that we did find it weak in 3 areas: availability of teaching material (books & cheap implementations), interactive graphics and popularity.

Lately, thanks to the efforts of Bjorn Kirkerud and others in Oslo, the situation is being rectified: Kirkerud's text book, distributed by Addison-Wesley, is widely available, his WindowTools Class allows use of GUIs in beginners' programs and the CIM compiler (SIMULA in C) means that anyone can teach and program in Simula. A port of CIM to the Windows environment is also available.

This Simula Home site is designed to help on the teaching & popularity front by providing (eventually) a complete on-line reference as well as useful Web Pointers and access to Simula application software. Presently, the most significant information here is a complete set of syntax graphs that we have generated from the BNF rules.

Jean G. Vaucher
Département d'informatique et recherche opérationnelle
Université de Montréal
E-Mail : vaucher@iro.umontreal.ca

Language overviews


SIMULA Language Reference

SIMULA Software

Other Montréal contributions

Association of Simula Users: ASU

The ASU is presently housed at the ISIMA, Université Blaise Pascal in Central France. This will be the site of the next Simula User's conference on 15th-17th July 1996. [Note: this site has a lot of fancy graphics and has been found to be quite slow ]

Interesting SIMULA sites

Dep. of Informatics (IFI), Oslo

This is an important FTP site for SIMULA. The important directories are:

Simula Mailing Center

A List of 100+ Simula users

Manfred Schneider's Object-Orientation Site

Over 5400 links including a whole section on SIMULA.

The Wageningen Agricultural University, Holland
This site has a C++ library Libfenk meant to ease the transition from Simula to C++. The site also mirrors the OSLO CIM site; furthermore, it has the 4.07 macSimula from Lund, the old DISCO (discrete+continuous) simulation package from Roskilde and some notes on simula, tools and compilers. The contact for the C++ library is Peter Barneveld

SIMULA in French

Simula au DIRO
This was written for our student newsletter explaining how we came to use Simula for introductory programming.
Introduction a Simula
A 23 page introduction to Simula (initially written for students for the OS course who already knew Pascal).
Cetus Français
La page Simula du site de Manfred Schneider


Compiler information

  • Lund Simula man pages
  • Lund Manuals (in PDF format)

  • Cim (Portable Simula in C), Oslo Site
  • Cim for Windows (Prague)....
  • Older Cim directory
  • Pointers (in norwegian) to Simula on various machines

    Simula Personalities

    Ole-Johan Dahl,
    One of the founding fathers

    Kristen Nygaard.
    The other founding father

    Jacob Palme.
    Active Simula implementer (1972-78) responsible for the famous DEC system. He wrote some of the earliest papers on Simula in "Software - Practice and Experience" and elsewhere... and kept on writing about many other things.

    Graham Birtwistle.
    Author of first book on Simula and creator of DEMOS a simulation package

    Rob Pooley.
    Past president of ASU
    Author of "An Introduction to Programming in Simula"

    Bjorn Kirkerud.
    Professor, IFI, Oslo - Author of the only modern book on Simula and implementor of several SIMULA classes important for teaching and development.

    Boris Magnusson
    Active researcher in OOP and implementer of the LUND Simula system

    Sverre H. Johansen, Stein Krogdahl and Terje Mjøs
    The team who implemented CIM, Simula in C (cim@ifi.uio.no) (Master's theses supervised by S. Krogdahl).

    J. Vaucher, Simula evangelist

    Jan Rune Holmevik.
    Simula historian and author of several articles on the history and social impacts of technology.

    See also Simula and Smalltalk: A Social and Political History by Benedict Dugan (1994)

    SIMULA in other languages



  • Simula list (?)
  • Norway's UNINET Map


    Jean G. Vaucher
    Paul Bratley
    Département d'informatique et recherche opérationnelle
    Université de Montréal
    E-Mail : vaucher@iro.umontreal.ca