This article is from the FAQ, by with numerous contributions by others.
BETA originates from the Scandinavian school of object-orientation where the
first object-oriented language Simula was developed. Object-oriented
programming originated with the Simula languages developed at the Norwegian
Computing Center, Oslo, in the 1960s. The first Simula language, Simula I,
was intended for writing simulation programs. Simula I was later used as a
basis for defining a general-purpose programming language, Simula 67 (later
renamed to Simula). Simula has been used by a relatively small community for
a number of years, although it has had a major impact on research in
The BETA language development process started out in 1975 with the aim to
develop concepts, constructs and tools for programming, partly based on the
Simula languages. The BETA language team consists of Bent Bruun Kristensen,
Birger Moller-Pedersen, Ole Lehrmann Madsen, and Kristen Nygaard. Kristen
Nygaard was one of the two original designers of the Simula languages.