Topic: specific purpose computer systems

topics > computer science > computer hardware > Group: machine model

domain specific language
general purpose computer systems
general vs. specific purpose systems
software tools
predefined program units
user-defined languages
fixed logic language


General purpose computers are used for specific economic purposes. For instance computers are used for accounting and payrolls. Programmers write software to fit computers to a specific environment but their tools are usually general purpose. For instance a bank's computer used for accounting could just as well be used for controlling an industrial plant. Such general purpose programming tools create maintenance difficulties and security risks.

A better approach may be specific software tools for building specific computer systems. Besides reducing software risk, they would allow users of the system to modify the system for their specific purposes. This approach has been used by RPG for report generation, APT for machine tool control, AWK for text processing, ladder diagrams for programmable controllers, and other programming systems. (cbb 5/80)

Subtopic: application specific vs. general purpose up

Quote: for process control need a problem-oriented language that implements standard instrumentation diagrams; e.g., SAMA Standard RC 22-11-6 [»controleng]
QuoteRef: mckeWM_1975 ;;74 "The trick is to devise a system that can get the job done without introducing dangerous generality.
Quote: a bank needs a system only to keep books, supply information; allows auditing and some modification; period [»mckeWM_1975]
Quote: in 1976, the most pressing problems were in all phases of application software development; by technicians and cost-driven [»boehBW_1979]
Quote: a universal programming language is indefensible because of new applications and rapid growth in non-expert users [»halpMI1_1968]

Subtopic: examples up

Quote: EDSYS is a special purpose multi-user system for mini-computers; better than a general-purpose approach [»bernN3_1977]
Quote: microcomputers will demand LSI hardware solutions instead of general-purpose tools [»controleng]

Subtopic: problems with specific system up

Quote: AWK programs can be very complicated even though basic design is simple
Quote: AWK avoids the trappings of conventional programming languages; uses simple, concise expressions and default handling of common cases

Related Topics up

Topic: domain specific language (8 items)
Topic: general purpose computer systems (9 items)
Topic: general vs. specific purpose systems (11 items)
Topic: software tools (20 items)
Topic: predefined program units (6 items)
Topic: user-defined languages (42 items)
Topic: fixed logic language
(7 items)

Updated barberCB 2/05
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