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ALGOL is a family of imperative computer programming languages originally developed in the mid-1950s which greatly influenced many other languages. It was the standard method for algorithm description used by the ACM in textbooks and academic sources for more than thirty years.
It was designed to avoid some of the perceived problems with FORTRAN and eventually gave rise to many other programming languages, including BCPL, B, Pascal, PL/I, Simula, and C.
ALGOL introduced code blocks and the begin and end pairs for delimiting them and it was also the first language implementing nested function definitions with lexical scope.
Moreover, it was the first programming language which gave serious attention to formal language definition and through the Algol 60 Report introduced Backus-Naur Form, a principal notation for language design.

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Magnus Lindstrøm