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Technology / AI and automation


Recently-formed Masthaven Development Ltd of Cambridge has launched its first product, a Modula-2 compiler running under Unix. Modula-2 is the language Nikolas Wirth says he always meant to write when he wrote Pascal. The Masthaven Modula-2 compiler is a single pass, optimising compiler for the 68000 family of processors. The Masthaven compiler was originally written by a US company, Volition Systems, that was composed almost exclusively of the academic team that developed UCSD Pascal; it is now out of business. Masthaven bought the licence to the product at that point and enhanced it for commercial use. The company, formally set up towards the end of last year, says that the primary difference between its own and other Modula-2 compilers under Unix is the support available for it. Masthaven thinks that people wanting support should pay for it and is offering it at 12.5% of the unit price: the compiler costs UKP900 and the symbolic debugger is available for an additional UKP200. The company expects to sell UKP300,000 worth of the product into the educational, software houses, embedded systems and large corporate markets by the end of the year. The initial porting has been done for Sun Microsystems’ workstations and the Torch Triple X. Masthaven says it will port to any 32-bit CPU that is commercially viable and will do ports to the 80386 when it takes off.

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