A principal benefit of higher-level languages is to provide access to the functionality of the computing environment while suppressing much of the detail. One measure of the success of this is that the PL/I manual provides the information necessary to use a great deal of the functionality of MVS. The bulk of the manuals necessary for the assembler language programmer to harness the same MVS function is about ten times as great as the PL/I language reference manual.

We have extended PL/I and Pascal to incorporate Gnosis functionality.

In one sense we have done this with the provision for gate jumps expressed in PL/I {(pliext)}.

While these extensions provide access to the complete Gnosis functionality they do so by requiring the PL/I programmer to delve into Gnosis esoterica that seems, somehow, at a level inappropriate to PL/I.

The problems are two-fold:

We distinguish three kinds of PL/I program here:

This distinction will be frequently blurred.

We enumerate some functions that are commonly needed but not yet supported naturally by PL/I:

Smalltalk integrates many Gnosis ideas directly into the language.