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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

Levels of language for portable software


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An increasing amount of software is being implemented in a portable form. A popular way of accomplishing this is to encode the software in a specially designed machine-independent language and then to map this language, often using a macro processor, into the assembly language of each desired object machine. The design of the machine-independent language is the key factor in this operation. This paper discusses the relative merits of pitching this language at a high level or a low level, and presents some comparative results.

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