On: raising the semantic level of a program

Stan Sieler sieler at allegro.com
Thu Jun 25 17:14:36 CDT 2020


Not hardware ... but an antique software / programming concept.

Some decades ago (circa late 1970s?), I *think* I came across a concept of
"raising the semantic level" of a program by using defines/macros and newly
written library functions.  The concept was that a given language provided
a particular level of semantics.  By judicious/clever use of things like
macros, one could "raise" the level of semantics, effectively appearing to
add new features to the language (or, in this case, the instance of the
language as used in the program).

I *thought* I got that concept from Terry Wingrad's excellent "Breaking the
Complexity Barrier again" (Nov, 1974,
https://dl.acm.org/doi/10.1145/951761.951764 )
...but, no.  It's not in that paper.

Does the concept ring a bell?

Can anyone provide a pointer to where I might have seen it?

It's formed the basis of my own personal programming philosophy for nearly
50 years, and I want to know where I found it, or if I might have thought
of it myself.



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