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Requirements for an Experimental Programming Environment

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000128911D
Original Publication Date: 1980-Dec-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Sep-20
Document File: 33 page(s) / 96K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

L. Peter Deutsch: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

Computer software costs rise steadily, as we expand our ambitions to include ever more complex systems using ever cheaper hardware. The software that we can produce, and the rate at which we can produce it, are too often limiting factors in our research within the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center's Computer Science Laboratory (CSL). We believe that it is increasingly desirable, feasible, and economic to use computers to directly assist the process of experimental programming.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 4% of the total text.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

©; Copyright 1980 by Xerox Corporation; used with permission

Requirements for an Experimental Programming Environment

edited by L. Peter Deutsch and Edward A. Taft

CSL 80-10 June 1980

© Xerox Corporation 1980

Abstract: We define experimental programming to mean the production of moderate-adze software systems that are usable by moderate numbers of people in order to test ideas about such systems. An experimental programming environment enables a small number of programmers to construct such experimental systems efficiently and cheaply-an important goal in view of the rising cost of software.

In this report we present a catalog of programming environment capabilities and an evaluation of their cost, value, and relative priority. Following this we discuss these capabilities in the context of three existing programming environments: Lisp, Mesa, and Smalltalk. We consider the importance of specific capabilities in environments that already have them and the possibility of including them in environments that do not.

CR Categories: 4.20, 4.33, 4.34, 4.4

Key words and phrases: programming environment, experimental programming

XEROX PALO ALTO RESEARCH CENTER

3333 Coyote Hill Road / Palo Alto f Calilornia 94304

Preface

Computer software costs rise steadily, as we expand our ambitions to include ever more complex systems using ever cheaper hardware. The software that we can produce, and the rate at which we can produce it, are too often limiting factors in our research within the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center's Computer Science Laboratory (CSL). We believe that it is increasingly desirable, feasible, and economic to use computers to directly assist the process of experimental programming.

This report was produced two years ago as the report of an ad hoc "programming Environment Working Group" that I chaired. It provided much of the initial impetus for Cedar, a major project now underway in CSL. Cedar is developing an advanced programming environment for the Mesa language as the basis for most of our programming during the next several years. We plan to report in due course both on various novel aspects of the design of Cedar and on our experiences in constructing and using it.

Meanwhile, interest in the important properties of programming environments has been growing. For example, the U. S. Department of Defense recently published "Requirements for Ada Programming Support Environments." [Stoneman, 1980] Our situation has much in common with that of other groups needing programming environments; hence we believe that others may be interested in the requirements that we originally set for Cedar.

Dec 31, 1980

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Requirements for an Experimental Programming Environment

This report was originally edited by Peter Deutsch for consideration within CSL. Ed TaR has edited it slightly to make it more comprehensible outside its original context...