About this book
Topics • what this book is about, • its intended audience, • what the reader ought to know, • how the book is organized, • acknowledgements. Specifications express information about a program that is not normally part of the program, and often cannot be expressed in a programming lan guage. In the past, the word "specification" has sometimes been used to refer to somewhat vague documentation written in English. But today it indicates a precise statement, written in a machine processable language, about the purpose and behavior of a program. Specifications are written in languages that are just as precise as programming languages, but have additional capabilities that increase their power of expression. The termi nology formal specification is sometimes used to emphasize the modern meaning. For us, all specifications are formal. The use of specifications as an integral part of a program opens up a whole new area of programming - progmmming with specifications. This book describes how to use specifications in the process of building programs, debugging them, and interfacing them with other programs. It deals with a new trend in programming - the evolution of specification languages from the current generation of programming languages. And it describes new strategies and styles of programming that utilize specifications. The trend is just beginning, and the reader, having finished this book, will viii Preface certainly see that there is much yet to be done and to be discovered about programming with specifications.
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