Prototype-based Programming

View of the structured document editor being part of the BIBLE system.

Active from 1990 to 1994

Research rationale

Little research was devoted to the theme of the representation and handling of structured documents. However, one realizes that there is still a lot of work to be done when one considers that computer programs are a simplified form of documents for which there are already problems of organization, sharing, interpretation, generation or dynamic modification. As with programs, the processing of structured documents requires the use of abstract grammars to define the syntactic and semantic rules of their composition. In addition, the introduction of active structured documents (i.e. whose abstract representation can evolve dynamically) requires the implementation of mechanisms to organize the different document models and to describe the evolution of several versions of the same document. There are also crucial questions about the reuse of documents and their interoperability in the case of heterogeneous systems (Pasquier 1991).


A system to provide dynamic document sharing based on delegation and cloning

My PhD thesis work aimed to explore the use of software engineering fundamentals to define the basis for the representation and handling of structured documents. This research led to the development of the BIBLE system, whose main contribution was the intelligent organization of the various logical and physical representations associated with the processed documents. The system I developed has set up a form of dynamic sharing based on the delegation and cloning of prototypes. Its underlying mechanism relied on prototype-based programming, a promising new area of research in the early 1990s (Pasquier 1992, 1994).


Program CIFRE Thesis (Conventions Industrielles de Formation par la REcherche)
Year 1991-1994
Grant recipient Claude Pasquier
Funder ANRT, on behalf of the French Ministry for Research


  • BIBLE: A system for Design and Management of Context-Controlled Documents

Pasquier, C. (1991), “Projet d’utilisation de la norme ODA à la Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations. Échange et génération de documents,” in Colloque gestion des documents electroniques, ed. S. d. communes de L. P. et de F. T. (SEPT), Caen.

Pasquier, C. (1992), “BIBLE: a system for Design and Management of Context-Controlled Documents,” in First international conference on principles of document processing (podp’92), Washington D. C.

Pasquier, C. (1994), “Gestion et conception de documents structurés par le contexte,” PhD Thesis, Nice, France: University of Nice - Sophia Antipolis.

Claude Pasquier
Researcher in Computer Science / Computational Biology

Université côte d'Azur, CNRS, I3S Laboratory, Sophia Antipolis