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Different programming projects require different environments, but handcrafting a separate environment for each project is not economically feasible. Gandalf solves this problem by permitting environment designers to generate families of software development environments semiautomatically without excessive cost. Environments generated using Gandalf address programming environments, which help ease the programming process, as well as system development environments, which reduce the degree to which a software project is dependent on the good will of its members. Gandalf environments integrate programming and system development, permitting interactions not available in traditional environments. The paper covers the basic characteristics of Gandalf environments. The method used to generate these environments, the structure and function of several existing environments, and ongoing research on the project.
Date of Publication: Dec. 1986