10.0668 COCOA/OCP

WILLARD MCCARTY (willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Thu, 6 Feb 1997 22:32:25 +0000 (GMT)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 10, No. 668.
Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (Princeton/Rutgers)
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
Information at http://www.princeton.edu/~mccarty/humanist/

[1] From: Jim Marchand <marchand@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu> (24)
Subject: COCOA/OCP

Mavis is looking for information on COCOA and OCP. You are right that COCOA
is a concordance program; the acronym is "word COunt and COncordance on
Atlas"; the Atlas computer having been one of the biggies in the UK. In the
late 50s and 60s, everybody wrote routines (we called the finished product a
package) to count words, do concordances and the like. I remember I wrote a
concordance routine which was widely (well, somebody else used it) used
before Kernigan and Plauger. COCOA was the "brainchild" of D. B. Russell.
Get his _COCOA Manual_ (Chilton: Atlas Computer Laboratory, November, 1967).
It was a suite of programs doing all kinds of things. The idea of it as a
markup language came from the fact that its divisions (sort of like
WordCruncher), e.g. <A Goethe> (the author is Goethe); <T Faust> (the title
of the work is Faust); <S 3> (the stanza is no. 3; oops, Faust is not really
in stanzas, but you get the picture) came to be used as "markup" in OCP, Tact
and a number of other places.
OCP is the "baby" of Susan Hockey, and she would have been stupid to have
ignored COCOA, in which she was steeped (no pun intended). In fact, OCP
seems to be sort of a porting of COCOA to other venues, e.g. IBM mainframe.
OCP was used on mainframes everywhere; when the PC revolution came about, it
got ported to the desktop under the name Micro-OCP. Voila\!
If it is important, you could get in touch with Susan Hockey, who could
give you more information. She is Director of the Center for Electronic
Texts in the Humanities at Princeton.
Jim Marchand.