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GIDL User Guide
Cosmin Oancea and Stephen M. Watt
Abstract: This document presents the Generic Interface Definition Language framework (GIDL), an extension of CORBA-IDL with support for parametric polymorphism and (operator) overloading. The motivation for this work is two-fold. First, we aimed at allowing multi-language software modules to be combined together to construct distributed applications. In this direction we have investigated what should be the attributes of a common model for parametric polymorphism, so that it can satisfy a wide range of language requirements for specific semantics and binding times. The current version of GIDL provides bindings for a set of representative languages: Java, C++ and Aldor. Second, we aimed at allowing language facilities to be used transparently in a heterogeneous environment. In this direction we have translated part of the C++ Standard Template Library (STL) to a distributed environment, and investigated how to extend the GIDL language bindings in order to preserve the library semantics and its coding idioms. This document is structured as follows: Section 1 enumerates several articles related to the GIDL framework. Section 2 briefly presents the common object request broker architecture (CORBA), on top of which GIDL is implemented. Section 3 describes GIDL's semantics and the GIDL to IDL translation. Section 4 introduces the general architecture of the GIDL base application, and the high level ideas used in the mapping GIDL generic model to the target languages. Sections 5 and 6 describes the GIDL bindings for the C++ and Java languages. Section 7 describes step by step how to install the GIDL framework, while Section 8 demonstrates the use of the framework.
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