Scorpion System Version 6.0 is now available (Rick Snodgrass)
Thu, 4 Nov 1993 18:46:30 GMT

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Scorpion System Version 6.0 is now available (1993-11-04)
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Newsgroups: comp.compilers,comp.lang.idl
From: (Rick Snodgrass)
Followup-To: comp.lang.idl
Keywords: available, FTP
Organization: University of Arizona CS Department, Tucson AZ
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 1993 18:46:30 GMT

Version 6.0 of the Scorpion System is now available either on magnetic
tape or via anonymous FTP. It runs on the following machines under

DEC3100 running Ultrix 4.3
DEC VAX running 4.3BSD UNIX
HP 9000 running HP-UX 8.07
Iris running IRIX 4.0.1
Sequent Symmetry running Dynix 3.0 (BSD universe)
Sun-3 running SunOS Release 4.1.1
Sun-4 running SunOS Release 4.1.1
Sun-4 running Solaris 2.x

The system is entirely in the public domain, and all source code and
documentation is included. The system includes some 110,000 lines of code,
and generates another 160,000 lines of code of itself. The documentation
totals some 500 pages, in 15 documents.

Scorpion is a medium-scale software development environment. It contains
over 20 closely-interacting tools. The Scorpion System is a
meta-environment, that is, a software development environment (SDE)
tailored to the production of target SDEs. Scorpion supports communication
of fine-grained data between tools in the target SDE. More information
can be found in "The Interface Description Language: Definition and Use",
by Richard Snodgrass.

Release 6.0 adds a binary external representation, which is stingier in
its space and runtime usage. The release also adds two tools, idlconstgen,
which converts a data instance into an object file to be linked with the
program, and idldiff, which finds the minimum distance between two data
instances. The idlc compiler is also significantly faster, as it uses the
binary representation as well as idlconstgen.

The Scorpion System has been used to construct a variety of specialized
programming environments at Bell Labs, Columbia University, DEC SRC,
Georgia Tech, Los Alamos National Lab, Mitre, Purdue University, the
University of Arizona, the University of New Hampshire, and the University
of North Carolina. Many of these generated environments are also
distributed widely.

Scorpion currently uses the Interface Description Language (IDL) as a data
specification formalism. IDL allows graph structures containing
attributed nodes to be described. It provides a class type system with
multiple inheritance. IDL specifies only the data component; method
components are supplied by multiple conventional programming languages.
IDL was designed to specify structures, such as parse trees, symbol
tables, and computation graphs, that are commonly passed between tools in
an SDE. These descriptions get translated into target language data
declarations and library routines, so that the application can read and
write data instances. Basic type generators are sets and sequences, from
which iterators are generated. Multiple representations, e.g., of sets as
linked lists or as arrays, are supported.

There are two ways to get the system.

1. Obtain an order form either from the following address or by email
(; please provide your postal address.

The Scorpion Project
Department of Computer Science
Gould-Simpson Building
The University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ 85721
(602) 621-8448

Shipments include a 1/2" magnetic tape at 1600bpi or a Sun DC-300
cartridge, plus optional printed copies of the documentation, and an
optional copy of "The Interface Description Language: Definition and Use",
by Richard Snodgrass, which is an essential introduction and reference
text for using Scorpion. This book, published by Computer Science Press
in 1989, is also available through your bookstore (ISBN 0-7167-8198-0).
The system is available for a nominal distribution fee; for example, the
system on 9-track tape with full documentation (the book and all manuals)
costs $105.00, including shipping and handling.

2. FTP the code to your site over the net by typing the following
bracketed text without brackets. You should see similar output (the number
of bytes is only approximate). Converting to binary mode to transfer the
compressed tar file is crucial.

% [ ftp ]
Connected to optima.CS.Arizona.EDU.
220 optima FTP server (Version 2.1aWU(4) Tue Jul 20 10:19:38 MST 1993) ready.
Name ( [anonymous]
331 Guest login ok, send your complete e-mail address as password.
Password: [ yourlogin@yourhost ]
230-Please read the file README
230- it was last modified on Mon May 24 16:00:52 1993 - 164 days ago
230 Guest login ok, access restrictions apply.
ftp> [ cd scorpion ]
250-Please read the file README
250- it was last modified on Thu Nov 4 11:28:48 1993 - 0 days ago
250 CWD command successful.
ftp> [ get README ]
200 PORT command successful.
150 Opening ASCII mode data connection for README (11484 bytes).
226 Transfer complete.
local: README remote: README
11713 bytes received in 0.15 seconds (74 Kbytes/s)
ftp> [ get ]
200 PORT command successful.
150 Opening ASCII mode data connection for (89814 bytes).
226 Transfer complete.
local: remote:
96460 bytes received in 0.82 seconds (1.1e+02 Kbytes/s)
ftp> [ get installation.txt ]
200 PORT command successful.
150 Opening ASCII mode data connection for installation.txt (54004 bytes).
226 Transfer complete.
local: installation.txt remote: installation.txt
55474 bytes received in 0.51 seconds (1.1e+02 Kbytes/s)
ftp> [ binary ]
200 Type set to I.
ftp> [ get scorpion6.0.tar.Z ]
200 PORT command successful.
150 Opening BINARY mode data connection for scorpion6.0.tar.Z (6299779 bytes).
226 Transfer complete.
local: scorpion6.0.tar.Z remote: scorpion6.0.tar.Z
6299779 bytes received in 74 seconds (83 Kbytes/s)
ftp> [ quit ]
221 Goodbye.

At that point, you can print out the README file and the installation
instructions (they come as raw text and as a postscript-format file).

Questions should be directed to, or
to the address above.

Richard Snodgrass
Associate Professor
Department of Computer Science
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ 85721

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