Perl notoriously prefixes variable names with symbols
The most significant antecedent of which I was aware was PDP-11
BASIC-PLUS, which had three variable namespaces.
The default variables could store a numeric value. Variables with
names suffixed with
No ALGOL-derived language uses sigils, as far as I know.
(Unix shell languages use
Today I learned about a forerunner that is much more Perl-like than
the others: the PILOT language. String variables have
names beginning with
One could take a chronological chart of computer languages and draw a line down it that marked the switch from ad-hoc parsers to recursive parsers generated by parser-generating tools. It wouldn't be a straight line, but it wouldn't be excessively wiggly either. PILOT is very definitely on the left side of this line.
By the way, this use of the word “sigil” was coined in 1999 by Philip Gwyn, and caught on immediately. Prior to this, the Perl documentation had used the term “funny character”.