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An introduction to Occam and the development of parallel software

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1 Author(s)
Newport, J.R. ; Gresham CAP Limited, New Malden, UK

Most people's knowledge of Occam¿¿ derives from their interest in the Inmos¿¿ Transputer. Occam is the language of the Transputer, the two having been developed hand-in-hand by Inmos. Although most of the initial applications of Occam have been concerned with extracting the maximum performance from multiple Transputer-based architectures, it should be pointed out that Occam is not an assembly-level language. Occam is a high-level language with many points to recommend it in its own right. The Transputer has made Occam commercially viable, but, even without the Transputer, Occam would have attracted a considerable amount of interest. This article provides an introduction to Occam and, where applicable, compares and contrasts it with Ada*. Occam is far simpler that Ada, but the two languages do have similarities. The models of concurrency in both Ada and Occam were derived from Hoare's work on Communicating Sequential Processes(CSP) [3]. and both languages have been developed for use in real-time embedded systems [4].

Published in:

Software Engineering Journal  (Volume:1 ,  Issue: 4 )