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We present a summary of the CHI project conducted at Kestrel Institute through mid-1984. The objective of this project was to perform research on knowledge-based software environments. Toward this end, key portions of a prototype environment, called CHI, were built that established the feasibility of this approach. One result of this research was the development of a wide-spectrum language that could be used to express all stages of the program development process in the system. Another result was that the prototype compiler was used to synthesize itself from very-high-level description of itself. In this way the system was bootstrapped. We describe the overall nature of the work done on this project, give highlights of implemented prototypes, and describe the implications that this work suggests for the future of software engineering. In addition to this historical perspective, current research projects at Kestrel Institute as well as commercial applications of the technology at Reasoning Systems are briefly surveyed.