The 1945 Meshing Routine
Von Neumann’s manuscript is a substantial technical document written in unfamiliar notation. This chapter provides a guide to the development of the meshing routine that explains the step-by-step process followed by von Neumann. He began with a slightly ‘high-level’ version of the code and by a process of repeated substitution reduced this to a form that could be straightforwardly translated into binary code. The intermediate and final versions of the routine implicit in the manuscript are tabulated for ease of reference. Von Neumann also considered how the routine would be loaded and called as a subroutine in a more general sorting program, and the manuscript concludes with a discussion of the routine’s performance.