Implementation characteristics

System Release and machine requirements

The SNOBOL5 system will operate on 64-bit Windows 7 or higher releases. It will also operate on 64-bit Linux systems. It has been tested on Ubuntu versions and probably works on others.


The DATE function returns the date and time of day as a character string: "MM-DD-YY HH:MM:SS.SSS". (Most SNOBOL implementations just return the date.)


The maximum length of a character string is 63999999952. Note that the default for &MAXLNGTH is also the above value.


The third parameter of the OUTPUT function is ignored. This is a FORTRAN format specification in some other systems. SNOBOL5 will just write the character string given. Some of the examples in the book "SNOBOL4 Programming Language, Second Edition" make clever use of these formats for formatting their output. It is usually more straight forward and clear to do all of the formatting using the SNOBOL5 language itself.

&ALPHABET keyword

The string &ALPHABET is the standard ASCII 128 character collating sequence followed by the 128 additional characters as defined for the font in use.

&PARM keyword

The string &PARM is an extension to SNOBOL and is the text on the command line invoking SNOBOL5 after the command name. Each token is delimited by the zero character (see CHAR(0)).

&STLIMIT keyword

&STLIMIT defaults to 9223372036854775807 instead of 50000.

Opening Files

All files are opened when the first input or output operation is performed on them.

LOAD and UNLOAD functions

The LOAD and UNLOAD functions are not supported.


Unit numbers can range from one through 999. A file is not opened until a read or write operation is performed. Files can be closed using the ENDFILE function and disconnected from their variable using the DETACH function.

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