new thesis using Self

Jecel Assumpcao Jr jecel at
Sun Aug 8 03:07:47 UTC 2004

Reinaldo Silveira will be defending his PhD thesis in a week or so. The 
("Directions for a New Method for Digital Design").

Here is a page with a short description of the work:

And here is a more detailed abstract from the thesis
This work presents a new methodology for digital design, called 
"Designer Oriented Methodology" (DO). The main idea behind the DO 
methodology is to make the computational tools closer to the domain of 
application. This is done by eliminating, from the design flow, tasks 
and concepts strange or superfluous to the final user. This methodology 
uses especially designed computer tools to avoid or hide unwanted 
aspects of the design from the user (hardware designer), The design 
process should interact with the system in a way that the designer's 
attention should be totally focused on the subject of his/hers work, as 
much as possible. Like a player and his game are involved and absorbed 
by the reality of the game.

To demonstrate the methodology, it is presented the system SelfHDL which 
is a hardware description language written in the programming language 
Self. SelfHDL uses graphical and textual elements to elaborate a 
description of a digital system, that is extremely simple to be 
understood allowing its use as didactic support system for the 
education aid of digital systems. The described system can also be 
simulated in interactive mode, through a virtual environment where the 
described system is emulated, being able to interact with the user or 
the computer environment that surrounds it, as the real hardware would. 
Being implemented in Self, means that the SelfHDL system does not need 
to be compiled, so any modfication has immediate effect as if the 
system were interpreted. This work presents the implementation of 
SelfHDL and its use in an example project.

The SelfHDL implementation of the DLX architecture is used as the 
example project. We compare two traditional DLX designs made in VHDL 
with the SelfHDL description and discuss the the advantages of the new 
system. We will see that this new form is very intuitive for designers, 
normally used to deal with graphic models of the elements of their 
domain and whose spirit normally is educated in experimentation and 
manipulation. The SelfHDL system is a propitious environment where the 
designers can evaluate many alternatives for their projects under 
development. Finally, we conclude the work speaking of the 
potentialities of the new system and the future works we intend to 
dedicate or advise as a new research field in order to extend the 
system and to make it more powerful.

I think Reinaldo has done a great job of capturing the spirit of Self 
and Morphic in this application. Congratulations!

-- Jecel

More information about the Self-interest mailing list