Research and Advances

On the interface between computers and data communications systems

Future systems that combine computers, digital terminals, and communications equipment present design optimization problems that require reconsideration of the traditional functional responsibilities of the respective subsystems. Several “standard” interfaces, by means of which computers and digital terminals connect to the communications systems will be required. When specifying these interfaces, consideration must be given to problems of coordination, synchronization, error control, signaling, stream multiplexing, and switch control, in addition to minimizing the technological interdependence of specific subsystem designs. A focus on some of the problems is obtained in a discussion of a detailed specification for a paticular computer-communications system interface.


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Research and Advances

On the meaning of names in programming systems

It is assumed that there is a similarity of function between the data names of a programming language and the file names of an operating system. The two functions are discussed in terms of the same basic concepts in order to identify the extent to which they overlap. It is suggested that there is some similarity between the idea of a file directory and a storable object of type context. Manipulations with contexts are then discussed at length. It is noted that there is a simple extension of Church's &lgr; notation that deals nicely with these ideas of context manipulation. Whereas a function can be regarded as the abstraction based upon the first two terms of the expression &lgr;(namelist)(expression)(valuelist), it is found that a context can be viewed as an abstraction based upon the first two terms in the equivalent expression &mgr;(namelist)(valuelist)(expression).

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