[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [ontolog-forum] Fw: Next steps in using ontologies as standards

To: Francis McCabe <frankmccabe@xxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Ed Barkmeyer <edbark@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 19:23:01 -0500
Message-id: <4963F5E5.3090005@xxxxxxxx>
Frank,    (01)

you wrote:
> Could not help jumping in on this one ed...
> Having written more than 12 compilers in my time; I would have to state 
> that lex and yacc 'solve' an extremely small part of the problem. So 
> small that I actually rarely use them...    (02)

I'm curious to know what you think are the bigger parts of the problem.
I suppose it may depend on the relation of the syntax to the semantics. 
  Most of my experience is with languages that are nearly one-to-one, at 
least in "simply recognized" contexts.    (03)

I can only claim 5 commercial compilers, all before 1975, and two others 
since (for research purposes).  And I have never used yacc and lex, 
although several of my colleagues did.  But it destroyed the market for 
my skills at the time.  Like the XML phenomenon, too many people thought 
parsing the surface language was the problem, and it was one of the 
black arts of the 1960s (parsing unformatted information, ooh).    (04)

The Gries book did provide basic skills for organizing and searching 
symbol tables, understanding operator overloading, allocating memory and 
generating code.  And it emphasized generation of "threaded code", which 
meant generating very little that wasn't calls on library routines. 
(The GE POPS team of 1960 is usually credited with inventing the 
technique.)    (05)

And, as I said, it was the combination of those two factors that 
produced the commodity effect -- any computer science student could 
learn the trade in a few months.    (06)

My specialty was code optimization, and that can be a very complex 
problem, but it was also a completely optional feature.  It was totally 
absent in most university compilers (why bother for a one-shot homework 
program?), and in many minicomputer compilers of the 1970s as well 
(probably because of memory limitations).  I only wrote real optimizers 
for two compilers, and those were for mainframes.    (07)

My customers rarely wanted anything the newly minted degrees couldn't 
do.  So I am curious as to what niche you found.    (08)

-Ed    (09)

P.S. A correction: The GE/Honeywell NDB product was IDS -- the 
Integrated Data Store.  I think IDMS was the Cullinane product for the 
IBM 360/370 series.    (010)

Edward J. Barkmeyer                        Email: edbark@xxxxxxxx
National Institute of Standards & Technology
Manufacturing Systems Integration Division
100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8263                Tel: +1 301-975-3528
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8263                FAX: +1 301-975-4694    (011)

"The opinions expressed above do not reflect consensus of NIST,
  and have not been reviewed by any Government authority."    (012)

Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/  
Config Subscr: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/  
Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/ 
To join: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WikiHomePage#nid1J
To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx    (013)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>