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Patchwork - Programming language

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Patchwork is a programming language created in 1996 by Ronen Barzel and David Salesin.

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We have built a system, Patchwork, that allows programs to be organized according to a dataflow model. In our implementation, application programs use Patchwork to assemble complex microcode programs for a graphics processor from a library of microcode modules. We describe a simple and efficient implementation, in which the only overhead incurred is a single extra level of indirection when invoking a module or when a module accesses inputs, outputs, or local storage. The implementation depends on being able to describe a distinct execution tree for the network, which obviates the need both for run-time monitoring of the execution and for movement of data. Thus, neither dataflow hardware nor a dataflow language is needed for the implementation. Patchwork supports flow-of-control constructs such as looping and branching, the assembly of complex modules from simpler ones, modules written in a variety of languages for a variety of different devices, the interleaved execution of several programs on a single processor, and the execution of a single program on a set of processors in parallel. An analysis showed that Patchwork contributed between 2 and 5% to the total running time of sample microcode programs.

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