The Centaur
system was conceived as a  generic interactive environment
generator, that, 
when given the formal specification of a programming language (syntax and 
semantics), produces a language-specific environment.  
With the help of Centaur one can develop tools needed for a programming
environment: structure editors, debuggers, interpreters, and various 
(for manipulating programs or objects).
It is also possible to incorporate existing tools in a Centaur-generated 
environment.  A generic system,

Sophtalk, is 
provided for communication between tools; Centaur itself is multi-process.

We include here a sampling of Centaur-related papers in an annotated bibliography. The papers are divided into three categories: i) papers about the system, ii) papers about specific language environments, and iii) papers regarding semantic aspects. For an introduction to the system, one can also consult The Centaur tutorial.

Centaur was developed under the European Community's Esprit program in the projects: "Generation of Interactive Programming Environments", Gipe (1984-1989) and Gipe II (1989-1993). (More information regarding the Gipe projects can be found by clicking here.)

The system was distributed by INRIA Sophia Antipolis, and used at over 100 sites. Our users typically were universities and research centers that use the system for: teaching purposes (for compiler construction, programming languages, semantics, etc.), or for experimenting with programming languages, or program transformations, translations, and verification. Our users have experimented with Centaur for quite a few languages (a partial list of languages can be found by clicking here.)

At INRIA, the Croap group developed and distributed Centaur. It was a tool for our research in the design and implementation of programming tools. This work ranged from a study of formal languages and their semantics to the means for integrating heterogeneous tools in an interactive system.

Centaur itself was a meta-system, for generating generic programming environments. One such generated environment has been commercialized in the area of scientific computing; Simulog offers a wide range of products for Fortran and the parallelization of existing code towards various target architectures.

This web page used to be maintained by Janet Bertot at inria and Laurent Thery at inria