We've got 1 definition »

What does SNOBOL stand for? 

What does SNOBOL mean? This page is about the various possible meanings of the acronym, abbreviation, shorthand or slang term: SNOBOL.

Filter by: Sort by:PopularityAlphabeticallyCategory





String Oriented Symbolic Language

Computing » General Computing -- and more...

Rate it:

What does SNOBOL mean?

SNOBOL ("StriNg Oriented and symBOlic Language") is a series of computer programming languages developed between 1962 and 1967 at AT&T Bell Laboratories by David J. Farber, Ralph E. Griswold and Ivan P. Polonsky, culminating in SNOBOL4. It was one of a number of text-string-oriented languages developed during the 1950s and 1960s; others included COMIT and TRAC. SNOBOL4 stands apart from most programming languages of its era by having patterns as a first-class data type (i.e. a data type whose values can be manipulated in all ways permitted to any other data type in the programming language) and by providing operators for pattern concatenation and alternation. SNOBOL4 patterns are a type of object and admit various manipulations, much like later object-oriented languages such as JavaScript whose patterns are known as regular expressions. In addition SNOBOL4 strings generated during execution can be treated as programs and either interpreted or compiled and executed (as in the eval function of other languages). SNOBOL4 was quite widely taught in larger US universities in the late 1960s and early 1970s and was widely used in the 1970s and 1980s as a text manipulation language in the humanities. In the 1980s and 1990s its use faded as newer languages such as AWK and Perl made string manipulation by means of regular expressions fashionable. SNOBOL4 patterns subsume BNF grammars, which are equivalent to context-free grammars and more powerful than regular expressions. The "regular expressions" in current versions of AWK and Perl are in fact extensions of regular expressions in the traditional sense, but regular expressions, unlike SNOBOL4 patterns, are not recursive, which gives a distinct computational advantage to SNOBOL4 patterns. (Recursive expressions did appear in Perl 5.10, though, released in December 2007.) One of the designers of SNOBOL, Ralph Griswold, designed successors to SNOBOL4 called SL5 and Icon, which combined the backtracking of SNOBOL4 pattern matching with more standard ALGOL-like structuring, as well as adding some features of their own.

see more »

Discuss these SNOBOL abbreviations with the community:


    Know what is SNOBOL? Got another good explanation for SNOBOL? Don't keep it to yourself!

    Still can't find the acronym definition you were looking for? Use our Power Search technology to look for more unique definitions from across the web!


    Use the citation options below to add these abbreviations to your bibliography.


    "SNOBOL." Abbreviations.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 8 Aug. 2022. <https://www.abbreviations.com/SNOBOL>.

    Browse Abbreviations.com

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant explanation for any acronym or abbreviation that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant explanation for any acronym or abbreviation that hits you anywhere on the web!


    The ultimate acronym test

    • A. And For All I Know
    • B. All Fans Are Inane Koalas
    • C. As Far As Is Known
    • D. As Far As I Know


    Share an image of SNOBOL


    Hearing impaired tip:

    Sign language

    How do you say SNOBOL in ASL sign language fingerspelling?