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Austin-SPIN - Archives - Sep12

September 13, 2012


       Applications of Mass Code Analysis and Change Tools

Speaker:  Dr. Ira D. Baxter, co-founder and CEO of Semantic Designs



As software systems grow, it becomes fundamentally necessary to bring automation to code analysis, and especially to code change.

This talk will briefly describe DMS, a kind of generalized compiler technology, parameterized by explicit descriptions of programming languages, and by explicit task descriptions including source-to-source rewriting rules. DMS enables a wide variety of mass change tasks on large, complex systems.

 We will focus on a variety of applications of DMS, from building test coverage tools by instrumenting code, to full language migrations for the B-2 Stealth Bomber, analyzing connectivity in large COBOL systems, and generating SIMD instructions for C++.


About the Speaker:

 Dr. Baxter has over 45 years of hardware and software development, management and consulting experience, including Schlumberger, Microelectronics Computing Consortium (MCC) Rockwell Automation and Software Dynamics. He holds two patents and has chaired sections for several Software Engineering and Development Conferences.

Dr. Baxter has been involved with computing since 1966, initially in hardware working with relay, discrete transistor logic and early Diode-Transistor Logic ICs. He learned to program with IBM 1401 (Autocoder), 1620 (Fortran) and 360 systems (BAL, PL/1, APL). He implemented one of the first commercial minicomputer timesharing systems on a Data General Nova in 1970, before receiving his B.S. in Computer Science (1973). During a brief stint in the numerical controls business, he designed and implemented a complete 16 bit virtual memory minicomputer, its OS and development tools for automated milling systems. In 1976, he started Software Dynamics, a systems software house, where he designed compilers, time-sharing and distributed network operating systems. The similarity in concepts and dissimilarity in implementation of the various OSes suggested that managing designs was key to managing long-lived software systems, and turned Ira's interests towards deeper software engineering research. In 1990, he received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California at Irvine, where he studied Software Engineering, focusing on design reuse using transformational methods. Dr. Baxter spent several years with Schlumberger, working on a PDE-solver generator for CM-5 supercomputers (Sinapse). He was also a consulting Research Scientist for Rockwell International, focusing on industrial control automation software engineering tools for several years.