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One area where use of the computer is essential is in the modern scientific laboratory. High speed computation, data storage and data analysis enable scientists to perform experiments that would otherwise be impractical. A problem inherent to the effective use of special purpose laboratory computers, however, is the fact that this equipment has generally been developed for highly specific uses, and has either tried to cope with existing high-level languages or has abandoned the attempt and required the user to program in a low-level assembly or machine language. Our idea was to design, develop and implement a programming language that is suited to the needs of a laboratory scientist. Our results have led us to believe that the best way to achieve our goals was using an interpretive/compiled programming environment (similar in spirit to FORTH) in which large programs could be built in small, coherent pieces, that could easily be tested on as high or low a level as the programmer desired. Our language, Havoc, adheres to these principles while providing many of the more widespread and useful language features not found in FORTH. Besides giving it motivation, this preliminary report describes the current design and implementation status of the HAVOC system. The current version of the HAVOC system is available for the Macintosh.
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David Cohn and Stephen Madancy, "Creating Havoc: Havoc Development Program." Dartmouth Computer Science Technical Report PCS-TR86-121, 1986.
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