My message to the serious programmer is this: spend a part of your working day examining and refining your own methods. Even though programmers are always struggling to meet some future or past deadline, methodological abstraction is a wise long term investment.

— Robert W. Floyd

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The establishment of formal standards for proofs about programs.

.. and the proposal that the semantics of a programming language may be defined independently of all processors for that language, by establishing standards of rigor for proofs about programs in the language, appears to be novel.

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It is, therefore, possible to extend a partially specified interpretation to a complete interpretation, without loss of verifiability... This fact offers the possibility of automatic verification of programs, the programmer merely tagging entrances and one edge in each innermost loop.

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A semantic definition of a particular set of command types, then, is a rule for constructing, for any command of one of these types, a verification condition on the antecedents and consequents.

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If there is ever a science of programming language design, it will probably consist largely of matching languages to the design methods they support.

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