A friendly editing environment for computer-aided rapid prototyping of hard real-time systems
Rowshanaee, Mehdi E.
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The Computer Aided Prototyping System (CAPS) was created to make the software development cycle more efficient. CAPS provides a graphics editor and a syntax-directed editor (SDE) for users to enter prototypes' specifications. The major problem: the user must have a good knowledge of the Prototyping Systems Description Language (PSDL) program syntax in order to use the SDE. Such a requirement imposes a very steep learning curve on a new CAPS user. The challenge was to minimize the time a user needs to spend in order to complete a development without extensive knowledge of other tools like PSDL and SDE. The solution is to redesign and implement a new graphics editor to allow the user to enter all PSDL specifications via the graphics editor with hierarchical pulldown menus. The approach taken was to first determine where to start and what type of language and graphic tools should be used in combination to give the ultimate results. There choices were TAEplus, Motif, and the Idraw from Stanford University. Idraw was chosen because of its design, capabilities, and user friendliness. The major contribution of this thesis is a powerful and user friendly graphics editor to rapidly construct a prototype of a large real-time system. The new CAPS graphic editor has been evaluated by members of the CAPS user group and early feedback shows that the new editor is a truly usable tool. SDE can now take advantage of this graphics editor to enhance the protyping capabilities of CAPS.
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