Sunday, October 29, 2006


Following a productive week of reading, and an extremely useful meeting with my supervisor on Thursday I have been able to get a lot more direction about where I am going with project and how the dataflow extension is going to work.

My supervisor has managed to (temporarily) prize me away from lazy streams for the moment, which is good. I need to get the extension working eagerly first, and that is going to be the main objective.

I have put together a short document detailing the nature of the dataflow extension I will be developing, and also a revision of my project timetable.

Progress and Timetable Revision 1

The current name for my extension is Lucian (a play on Lucid of course, and in reference to Lucian of Samosata and the artist Lucian Freud).
Here is the description of Lucian taken from the above document:-

The nature of the dataflow extension has been further solidified over this week leading to the creation of this document. The current name I am using to label this extension is Lucian.

    The dataflow extension will take the form of a pre-processor that interprets a dataflow language, L, and outputs source code in a target object orientated language, A. The dataflow language will consist of an abstract syntax for expressing dataflow over objects, and will allow the programmer to reference objects that exist within local source code in the language A.

    For example the programmer writes a class definition for an object X, in the language A, along with supplementary code in the dataflow language L, which describes some dataflow involving X. The Lucian pre-processor then generates all the dataflow code in the OOP language A.

    The Lucian pre-processor will also have the ability to parse source code written in the language A that has embedded dataflow code appropriately delimetered within.

    Hence the Lucian language is a meta-programming language, and the pre-processor acts as the generator to the target language A.

    Initially I will be developing Lucian-R, an implementation of Lucian that outputs source code in the Ruby programming language. Due to planned modularity within the pre-processor the ability to output to any other OOP language, e.g. Java, Smalltalk should be fairly straight forward.


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