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"The Cecil Language: Specification and Rationale"


The Cecil language design and the presentation in this document have benefitted greatly from discussions with members of the Self group including David Ungar, Urs Hölzle, Bay-Wei Chang, Ole Agesen, Randy Smith, John Maloney, and Lars Bak, with members of the Kaleidoscope group including Alan Borning, Bjorn Freeman-Benson, Michael Sannella, Gus Lopez, and Denise Draper, with the Cecil group including Claudia Chiang, Jeff Dean, Charles Garrett, David Grove, Vassily Litvinov, Vitaly Shmatikov, and Stuart Williams, and others including Peter Deutsch, Eliot Moss, John Mitchell, Jens Palsberg, Doug Lea, Rick Mugridge, John Chapin, Barbara Lerner, and Christine Ahrens. Gary Leavens collaborated with the author to refine the static type system, devise the module system, and develop an efficient typechecking algorithm. Claudia Chiang implemented the first version of the Cecil interpreter, in Self. Stuart Williams augmented this interpreter with a type checker for the monomorphic subset of the Cecil type system. Jeff Dean, Greg DeFouw, Charles Garrett, David Grove, MaryAnn Joy, Vassily Litvinov, Phiem Huynh Ngoc, Vitaly Shmatikov, Ben Teitelbaum, and Tina Wong have worked on various aspects of the Vortex optimizing compiler for object-oriented languages, a.k.a. the UW Cecil implementation. A conversation with Danny Bobrow and David Ungar at OOPSLA '89 provided the original inspiration for the Cecil language design effort.

This research has been supported by a National Science Foundation Research Initiation Award (contract number CCR-9210990), a NSF Young Investigator Award (contract number CCR-945767), a University of Washington Graduate School Research Fund grant, a grant from the Office of Naval Research (contract number N00014-94-1-1136), and gifts from Sun Microsystems, IBM Canada, Xerox PARC, Edison Design Group, and Pure Software.

More information on the Cecil language and Vortex optimizing compiler projects are available via http://www.cs.washington.edu/research/projects/cecil and via anonymous ftp from cs.washington.edu:pub/chambers.