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Press Release

Decision Table Program Generator Reaches the Classroom.

Professor David Topham at Ohlone College, Fremont, California, is planning to present the open source, 'ccide' decision table preprocessor software to his Computer Science students this next semester. This is most likely the first time any decision table preprocessor has been used in an introductory programming course. A preprocessor prepares a computer source program for compilation.

Ccide displays program logic in a friendlier, more familiar decision table format; rather than the widely taught, but harder to read, decipher, and debug, structured programming format. Decision tables have been known and recommended to assist software development since the 1950s, but have not been universally adopted -- "to the detriment of the industry" according to Tom Young, the ccide author. A review by 'Eli', in March 2012 at SourceForge.com. states simply: "Great app ccide". Besides providing relief from writing tedious, complex, if-then-else statements; Ccide helps detect and warn developers about common logic errors, such as conflicting and overlapping logic rules.

Professor Topham has been working with the developer over the summer, to enable ccide to run in the M/S Windows environment. Together, they hope to bring this technology to the attention of a greater community of developers. Professor Topham has created a payroll bonus calculation example program for his students, employing a ccide decision table. Ccide differs from other approaches to decision table processing in that it can be used in a variety of commonly used programming languages, including C/C++, Java, BASIC, and *nix/bash script. Ccide can be extended relatively easily to even more procedural languages. Wide availability of familiar tabular logic should appeal to students who typically need to learn multiple computer languages to graduate and even more thereafter.

Open source ccide is available at no charge from SourceForge and Github. The (somewhat out of date) ccide home web page is http://twysf.users.sourceforge.net/. ccide-0.6.2-8 is the first release with Windows/mingw support and professor Topham's example. You can follow @_ccide on Twitter. The ccide project is looking for help to extend the software to more computing languages (such as Javascript) and platforms and to enhance ccide itself even more.

Tom Young
Stamford Data, LLC
47 Mitchell St.
Stamford, CT 06902
Ph: +1-203-539-1278


Posted by Tom Young 2012-08-16