Date of Award

Spring 1988

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

First Advisor

Riedel, Susan

Second Advisor

Heinen, James A.

Third Advisor

Pionke, Thomas

Abstract

Application Specific Fourth Generation Languages (AS4GL) are targeted for use by a specific group of users to quickly develop or prototype their applications. Examples include scientific, robotic control, CAD, financial, and numerical control. AS4GLs are distinguished by certain characteristics including user friendly, simplicity, non-procedural, high productivity, and more. The world is full of extremely sophisticated products. The functions of a particular product are called the feature set. Often the user wants to aggregate several of these features together to form a new feature. A product specific language is developed to facilitate this need. The range of AS4GL's overlap in this particular area. This thesis will focus on the design of AS4GLs, which are based over a product feature set. The design of an AS4GL, and in general, any computer language, is a difficult exercise due to the nature of the decisions that must be made. The decisions most often involve trade offs, with the correct answer usually not apparent. It is easy to become disoriented during the design process. Most languages are therefore designed around central themes, which guide the designer in the prioritization process. In this light, this thesis addresses the following question: Can the concepts of object oriented design be put to use to simplify the design of an AS4GL and does the resultant language meet the criteria of an AS4GL?

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