Item description for CLU: Reference Manual (Lecture Notes in Computer Science) by B. Liskov...
CLU: Reference Manual (Lecture Notes in Computer Science) by B. Liskov
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.21" Width: 6.14" Height: 0.43" Weight: 0.65 lbs.
Release Date Jun 10, 1983
ISBN 354010836X ISBN13 9783540108368
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A clue to the past Aug 5, 2005
CLU was developed around 1974-79, just a few years after Pascal but well before C++, Java, and the like. Although it never became popular in itself, it had remarkable influence on the next generation of languages.
It's an object based language, but not object oriented as we'd recognize the term today. It had classes (called 'clusters'), but lacked inheritance. It had generics (templates) in terms of data values or types, and ways to constrain the interfaces exported by the type parameters. C++, but especially Java derived their signalling mechanisms from CLU, down to Java's 'throws' declarations on methods. It also featured iterators as language primitives, something Java didn't catch up with until the version 1.5. CLU also anticipated 'const' declarations as flexible as those in C++. CLU's "immutable" constructs were even more flexible than the cint and cfloat types in the Cg shader language, and like Cg it relied on a special set of keywords rather than declaration modifiers. The automatically-generated accessor methods in C# also had their ancestors in this language. And, like modern languages, CLU use automatic garbage collection instead of manual resource management - and in doing so, defined whole worlds of programming errors out of existence.
The language itself is an historical oddity, these days. You might be hard pressed to find a compiler for it. The language design is a fascinating snapshot in time however, an intermediate point in the evolution of modern OO languages. This is a necessary reference for anyone serious about the fundamentals of OO language development.