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Idiomatic Control Language

ICL Example

This site is initially about a proposed general purpose but specially structured (Fluid) Process Control language [Retirement Unrequited Love #1]. (The right link above accesses other papers on other subjects by the author (Ed. Bristol).) In an age of increased business pressure and reduced engineering talent, the language is designed for completeness, integration, clarity and Self-Documentation to leverage that talent and facilitate communication between designers, operating personnel, and plant management. A not incidental objective consequent from the resulting integration is the natural connection to operator and programming interfacing, high reliability operation, and other dimensions of control.

At the same time the language concepts are intended to improve teaching access to the associated traditional control practice whether in academy or industry. The adjacent examples are discussed elsewhere and in the ICL Bibliography references. They are intended to represent typical ICL listings; the top one generated by the Idiom Documentation Tool. As intended in ICL, the unusual layouts and graphic elements are created automatically from a simple linear script input form.

The language reflects a concept of Intent Based Programming that may be of more general interest. The concept starts with the question: Why is a page of FORTRAN/C/JAVA so much more difficult to understand, even for its practitioners, than a page of a natural language like English? People would have any number of answers to this question but Intent Based Programming argues that a computer language normally addresses a distinct implementation formalism with only an obscure relation to the user's Intent. Intent Based Programming expresses user Intent's for applications:

The intended language involves text, icons, and drawn pictorial representations. A further section discusses Relating the Language to Process Control. The ICL Bibliography papers show other example usages, some of general as well as specialized interest, particularly references 4, 5, and 10. A separate, short section will cover the lighter aspects of the two (see below) coordinated language forms.

The site includes demonstration software for different language dimensions as well as a bibliographies of various supporting and early related papers, and specifications. It is hoped that users will limit their use of any of the papers with copyright held by anyone but the author to one reading copy. If there is a need to use more copies please notify the copyright holder or author as addressed in the paper and I am sure that the copyright holder will be amenable to any reasonable use. My own goal is to do anything that will make this work available to anyone potentially interested.

In absence of full commercial language implementation, an Idiom Documenting Tool was written to provide a vehicle larger than the simple demos to permit readers/users live experience with the Intent/Idiom concepts. The Tool allows a clearer large-system continuous control documentation than possible with the traditional block diagram. But to give it a more immediate focus, it (with its User Guide) is framed in terms of a role in university Process Control teaching.

To support real distributed process plant systems, two forms of the language were then defined: a Large System Language designed to represent process units, or larger scale divisions of the plant (with the associated greater complexity), and a Small System Language or Field Device Language to represent isolated sections of the process associated each with a small number of sensors or actuators operated under a single multi-device controller (simpler and easier to work with). As a matter of fact, the "Simple Idiom Loop Demo" below was implemented in the SuperVariable/Small System technology.

All the linked readable documents (User's Guides or Bibliography papers) are Acrobat® documents requiring a reader, either built into the browser (or Macs!) or separately available on the web at:
http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html.

Main Site Links Table of Contents (Includes Bibliographies, Titles Italicized)

Revised: 11/20/09