|Paradigm(s)||procedural, imperative, structured|
|Designed by||System Development Corporation|
|Developer||Software Engineering Associates, Inc. (SEA)|
|Major implementations||mainframe, micro, PC, APPLE, WinX, Linux, SPARC, PowerPC, 1750A, other legacy systems|
|Influenced by||ALGOL, SAGE|
|Influenced||Coral 66, SYMPL|
JOVIAL is a high-order computer programming language similar to ALGOL, but specialized for the development of embedded systems (specialized computer systems designed to perform one or a few dedicated functions, usually embedded as part of a complete device including mechanical parts).
JOVIAL is an acronym for "Jules Own Version of the International Algorithmic Language."1 The "International Algorithmic Language" was a name originally proposed for ALGOL 58. It was developed by Jules Schwartz in 1959 to compose software for the electronics of military aircraft.2
During the 1960s JOVIAL was a part of the US Military L-project series, in particular 465L (the SACCS project), due to a lack of real-time languages available. 95% of the SACCS project, managed by ITT with software primarily written by SDC, was written in JOVIAL. The software project took two years and fewer than 1400 programmer years, less than half of the equivalent time in the SAGE L-project.3
During the late 1970s and early 1980s, the U.S. Air Force adopted a standardized CPU, the MIL-STD-1750A, and subsequent JOVIAL programs were built for that processor. JOVIAL was standardized during 1973 with MIL-STD-1589 and was revised during 1984 with MIL-STD-1589C. It is still much used to update and maintain software on older military vehicles and aircraft. There are three dialects in common use: J3, J3B-2, and J73.
As of 2010[update], JOVIAL is no longer maintained and distributed by the USAF JOVIAL Program Office (JPO). Software previously distributed by the JPO is still available through commercial resources at Software Engineering Associates, Inc. (SEA) as are other combinations of host/target processors including WinX, Linux, Apple iBook, SPARC, VAX, 1750A, PowerPC, TI-9989, Zilog Z800x, Motorola 680x0 and IBM 360/370/z.
Notable systems using JOVIAL include the Milstar Communications Satellite, Advanced Cruise Missile, B-52, B-1B,4 B-2 bombers, C-130, C-141, and C-17 transport aircraft, F-111, F-15, F-16 (prior to Block 50), and F-117 fighter aircraft, LANTIRN, U-2 aircraft, E-3 Sentry AWACS aircraft, Navy Aegis cruisers, Army Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS), Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, F100, F117, and F119 jet engines, the NORAD air defense & control system (Hughes HME-5118ME system), the NATO Air Defence Ground Environment (NADGE) system and RL-10 rocket engines. Airborne radar systems with embedded JOVIAL software include the APG-70, APG-71 and APG-73.5
As most software implemented in JOVIAL is mission critical, and maintenance is getting more difficult, conversion of JOVIAL code to new platforms is becoming more common. JOVIAL rehosting and retargeting is currently done by Software Engineering Associates, Inc. Conversions of JOVIAL to other languages is currently done by Semantic Designs, whose DMS Software Reengineering Toolkit was used to convert some of the JOVIAL mission software for the B-2 to C.6
- Oral History interview with Jules I. Schwartz, Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota. Schwartz worked for the Rand Corporation on various defense related projects: SAGE and JOHNNIAC in particular. When Rand organized the System Development Corporation, Schwartz went to the new company. For most of the interview, Schwartz describes his association with SAGE, his part in the computer laboratory work on timesharing for the AN/FSQ-32 computer, computer networks, control system projects (such as TDMS), and his interactions with J. C. R. Licklider, Lawrence G. Roberts, and Robert S. Taylor. He discusses his later position at Computer Sciences Corporation.
- Campbell-Kelly, Martin. From airline reservations to Sonic the Hedgehog: a history of the software industry Cambridge Mass: The MIT Press, 2003: 46-7. ISBN 0-262-03303-8.
- AN/APG-73, Warfighter's Encyclopedia
- "MIL-STD-1589C, MILITARY STANDARD: JOVIAL (J73)" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. 6 JUL 1984.
- April 2006 archive of the JOVIAL Program Office
- Page on Jules Schwartz, including film of a humorous talk on the development of JOVIALdead link
- DODSSP U.S. Department of Defense Single Stock Point for Military Specifications, Standards and Related Publications
- Software Engineering Associates
- Video of Jules Schwartz giving a humorous talk on the development of JOVIAL