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A programming system has been implemented in which annotated Petri nets are used as machine-processable high-evel design representations. The nets can be used to express the parallelism and the dynamic sequential dependencies found in complex software. They can then be interactively fired to facilitate debugging of the design. The nets are processed into a procedure language, called XL/1, to which a variety of transformations are applied in order to produce more efficient programs. These programs are generated for either a serial or a parallel processing environment. Finally, the XL/1 programs may be translated into PL/I or PL/S. The serial processing versions have been compiled and run successfully, but the parallel processing versions have not yet been run in a parallel processing environment.