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Current particle physics experiments last for many years and represent the combined effort of large groups of physicists, engineers and technicians. Many hundreds of thousands of lines of software are written and continuously modified to reflect changes in the detector, electronics, algorithms and physics interest. The days of `code and go' are over; programs must be designed before they are coded and all the aspects of the development process must be fully documented. In this way newcomers can join in easily, the effort of debugging is reduced, old data can be read by new programs and the whole of the data processing can be managed effectively.

Scientific software needs to manipulate complex data structures, but these are poorly supported by FORTRAN. Packages to support such data structures and to provide input and output of the structures were developed by the particle physics community when cpu power and memory were expensive resources and when the efficiency of the code, rather than ease of programming, was the overriding concern.

ADAMO and the Entity-Relationship Model

An example

The software life-cycle

Programming languages

SF and PP - CERN PTG - ADAMO Reference Manual for Version 3.3 - 13 Dec 93