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Connecting Tools Using Message Passing in the Field Environment
July/August 1990 (vol. 7 no. 4)
pp. 57-66

An overview is given of the Field environment, which was developed to show that highly integrated, interactive environments like those on PCs can be implemented on workstations and can be used for classical-language and large-scale programming. Field connects tools with selective broadcasting, which follows the Unix philosophy of letting independent tools cooperate through simple conventions, demonstrating that this simple approach is feasible and desirable. Field achieves its goals by providing a consistent graphical front end and a simple integration framework that lets existing and new Unix tools cooperate. The front end is based on a tool set called the Brown workstation environment. The framework combines selective broadcasting with an annotation editor that provides consistent access to the source code in multiple contexts and with a set of specialized interactive analysis tools. Field's integration framework and message facility are described.

Index Terms:
tool connection; integrated environment; classical language programming; message passing; Field environment; interactive environments; large-scale programming; selective broadcasting; graphical front end; Unix tools; Brown workstation environment; annotation editor; source code; multiple contexts; interactive analysis tools; programming environments; software tools
Steven P. Reiss, "Connecting Tools Using Message Passing in the Field Environment," IEEE Software, vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 57-66, July-Aug. 1990, doi:10.1109/52.56450
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