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Module Interconnection Frameworks for a Real-Time Spreadsheet

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Final rept.,

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Phase I research into a modular real-time spreadsheet has yielded a significant result A spreadsheet can be used to completely simulate, completely prototype and completely implement distributed control systems. A usable implementation of such a system will be done in Phase II. Commercialization will begin in the middle of Phase II, with the release of a set of distributed processing options for RTwares ControlCalc product. Demonstration applications in Naval applications will be done in cooperation with RTwares existing Naval customers. A real-time spreadsheet will be used to build nodes in a software module interconnection framework MIF, allowing interactive, on-line construction of distributed control applications. Due to major advances in spreadsheet software technology already implemented in ControlCalc, the commercially-available spreadsheet to be used, the system will allow prototyping, simulation, top down design and implementation down to the final, lowest-level runtime machine code. The MIF is Polylith, which provides a remote function calling and message-passing abstraction that can be used by any language, including a spreadsheet. A graphical diagram editor will provide visualization of and navigation through the module framework. The major spreadsheet advances are on-the-fly expression compilation, multi-threading evaluation, and multi-tasking text or graphical user interface sessions. Important supporting capabilities include in-line IO functions for direct access to analog or digital hardware and file or network protocols, strong typing, direct mapping to the output of graphical user interface editors, and extensibility through calling user-supplied functions in other languages directly from compiled spreadsheet expressions.

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  • Computer Programming and Software

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