Who Needs
Another Tool?

Jim Neil

Spock to Kirk -- "I am attempting to make a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bearskins" (from the Star Trek episode "The City On The Edge Of Forever" by Harlan Ellison). It was not that Spock was unable to do the job without modern tools, it just wasn't as expedient as it could have been. If he hadn't known better tools existed he probably would not have been so testy when Jim returned from his "shopping trip." Now, imagine writing machine level code without the aid of an assembler.

Imagine Coding Without An Assembler

Many assembly-level programmers are content with their existing tools. Of course it is possible write a program without an assembler. In fact, that's exactly what the early programmers did -- before this very obvious invention came along. But, given the existence of the assembler, it's difficult to conceive of anyone not rushing to use one. Change is not embraced quickly by everyone. Not everyone is a visionary. There are always those who fail to see the light and they are quickly left behind. There were those that felt the automobile would never replace the horse and buggy.

Most inventions are so obvious it makes you wonder why it took so long for someone to think of them. This is the case with TERSE. Programmers around the world are asking me "Why didn't somebody do this before?" The answer is simple -- others did. So what is the difference and why aren't we all programming in a language like TERSE already? The answer is timing. To help you understand, let's take a quick look back at a bit of history.

C is Too High

Many have attempted to cloak machine code in a high-level syntax, some have succeeded, others have failed. C is a prime example of a success, originally designed to be a high-level assembly language for the PDP-11. Although powerful in its day, the PDP-11 had a very limited instruction set compared to today's x86's CISC architecture. Because of the 11's primitive capabilities, the creators of C were forced to make their language "help" the programmer a great deal in order to gain any leverage from their efforts. C's success was due more to its brief syntax's appeal to keystroke conserving programmers than its ability to surrender complete control of a specific processor. The ability to port C programs between architectures demonstrates its total inability to relinquish total control to the programmer. Total control is what low-level programming is all about.

Assembly is Too Low

The designers of the x86 assembly language included many high-level features like data typing. The 8086 architecture with its rich instruction set was begging for a high-level syntax. While C had gone too far in one direction, x86 assembly hadn't gone far enough in the other. Tradition, no doubt, influenced the more conventional aspects of the x86 assembler's design and, with Intel firmly behind PLM as a high-level machine control language, marketing and internal politics surely played a role.

With the IBM-PC's dominance of the desk top, and 85% the world's computers running an x86 compatible processor, portability is no longer the concern it was back in the 1970's before a standard architecture had emerged. The stage is set, the time has come, TERSE fills the need.

TERSE is Just Right

Combining the best features of high-level language with the absolute control of assembler makes TERSE a unique programming language. Today, more than ever, the need to leverage your productivity and produce maintainable code is essential. With the move toward larger and more complex programs, more and more developers are shying away from machine level programming. At the same time, today's sophisticated users are demanding more and more performance from their software. The successful developers are those who seize the tools that give them the greatest competitive edge. With TERSE's concise syntax and structured flow control, writing and maintaining machine level modules becomes so simple you'll never hesitate to fine tune your code again.

Now that you are aware of the existance of TERSE, you are in a situation similar to Spock's in "The City on the Edge of Forever." You know a better tool exists, but you don't have it. Well, there's no longer a need to program using stone knives and bearskins. Don't blame Captain Kirk! Order your Risk FREE copy of TERSE today!

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Copyright © Jim Neil. All Rights Reserved.
The word OPTOMIZED, the name TERSE, and the TERSE logo are Trademarks of Jim Neil.