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Designed and developed by James McGraw, at the University of Manchester, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Colorado State University, and Digital Equipment Corporation, SISAL was defined in 1983, and the first implementation was released in 1986.

Named for Streams and Iteration in a Single Assignment Language, SISAL is a functional parallel programming language that combines modern language features with readable syntax and sound semantic foundations.

It was most strongly influenced by VAL, although it also had some influences from C, Fortran, and Pascal. To VAL, it adds recursion and finite streams. SISAL is a dataflow and fine-grain language that serves also as a set of tools that convert textual human-readable dataflow language into a graph format.

Versions existed for the Cray X-MP, Y-MP, and 2, as well as for Sequent, Encore Alliant, DEC-VAX 11/784, dataflow architectures, Transputers, and systolic arrays.

The language enjoyed a resurgence in 2010 when a group from Worcester Polytechnic Institute began a project to implement a fine-grain parallelism backend for the SISAL language. In 2018, a revision to the language added indent-based syntax, first-class functions, lambdas, closure, and lazy semantics. This version is known as SISAL-IS.

The focus of this guide is on the SISAL programming language, and any implementations or versions. IDEs, editors, or other tools created to facilitate programming with the language are also appropriate here, as are SISAL user groups, forums, tutorials, or guides.



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