Higher level system interfaces

  • J. K. Iliffe
Schnittstellen Und Leistungskriterien
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8)


A synopsis of computer system structure is presented. It is suggested that the current user interfaces should not be regarded as ends in themselves, but as steps towards more intelligent interaction with machines. The importance of understanding the present levels of engineering is stressed: the potential impact of new technologies such as "computer on a chip" or "microprogramming" can best be judged by reference to the well established framework of design.

The conflict between software performance and system growth is examined. Some examples are given of how user interfaces are affected by limitations of the lower level engineering. A method of controlling software structures without loss of performance is described briefly, opening the way to more flexible and responsive language and data interfaces.


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    M.V. Wilkes, "Time-Sharing Computer Systems", Chapter 4 (Elsevier 1972).Google Scholar
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    J.K. Iliffe, "Basic Machine Principles", 2nd Ed. (Elsevier 1972).Google Scholar
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    D.E. Knuth, "An Empirical Study of Fortran Programs", Stanford University Computer Science Department Report No.CS-186 (1970)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. K. Iliffe
    • 1
  1. 1.ICL StevenageEngland

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