Skip to Main Content
Industrial computer control systems require the economical production of efficient software including executive systems, maintenance programs, and both special and general purpose application programs for direct digital control. Moreover, the hardware configuration varies considerably from the single dedicated control computer to a general purpose multicomputer system. RTL, a real-time language developed cooperatively with industrial suppliers and users specifically for industrial control, is described with emphasis on those features peculiar to applications such as dedicated direct digital control, combined direct and supervisory control, operator interfaces, and interaction with plant management computer systems. The use of RTL for the production of special purpose executive systems and general purpose application programs for direct control, startup, etc., is emphasized. Details of the language discussed with examples include its file structure for communication of data bases between independent programs, and a variety of data types including character codes, strings, labels, lists, peripheral variables, and data structures. Peripheral variables are variables in the language associated with hard-ware features of the central processor and its input-output devices such as registers, interrupts, error indicators, and addresses all of which may be referenced in the language. Regular and peripheral variable data structures--combinations of different types of variables--are included and ease considerably the burden of real-time programming. The organization and performance of the existing compiler for RTL is explained.