A Guide to the TDF Specification, Issue 4.0

January 1998

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1 - Introduction
2 - SORTs and TOKENs
3 - CAPSULEs and UNITs
5 - Procedures and Locals
6 - Control Flow within procedures
7 - Values, variables and assignments.
8 - Operations
9 - Constants
10 - Tokens and APIs
11 - TDF transformations
12 - TDF expansions of offsets
13 - Models of the TDF algebra
14 - Conclusion

1 Introduction

This memo is intended to be a fairly detailed commentary on the specification of TDF, a kind of Talmud to the Torah. If it conflicts with the specification document, it is wrong. The aim is elucidate the various constructions of TDF, giving examples of usages both from the point of view of a producer of TDF and how it is used to construct programs on particular platforms using various installers or translators. In addition, some attempt is made to give the reasons why the particular constructions have been chosen. Most of the commentary is a distillation of questions and answers raised by people trying to learn TDF from the specification document.

Throughout this document, references like (S5.1) are headings in the TDF specification, Issue 4.0. I use the term "compiling" or "producing" to mean the production of TDF from some source language and "translating" to mean making a program for some specific platform from TDF.

I use the first person where I am expressing my own opinions or preferences; these should not be taken as official opinions of DRA or the TenDRA team.

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