break-even point /n./ In the process of implementing a new
computer language, the point at which the language is sufficiently
effective that one can implement the language in itself. That is,
for a new language called, hypothetically, FOOGOL, one has reached
break-even when one can write a demonstration compiler for FOOGOL
in FOOGOL, discard the original implementation language, and
thereafter use working versions of FOOGOL to develop newer ones.
This is an important milestone; see MFTL.
Since this entry was first written, several correspondents have
reported that there actually was a compiler for a tiny Algol-like
language called Foogol floating around on various VAXen in the
early and mid-1980s. A FOOGOL implementation is available at the
Retrocomputing Museum http://www.ccil.org/retro.
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