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A description of computer language based on the use of decision tables, DETAB-X (Decision Tables, Experimental). The paper traces the evolution of computer programming and the steps in its development. The desirable features for a problem-analysis technique are discussed together with a comparison of DETAB-X and COBOL-61. DETAB-X was developed at Rand as part of a continuing effort to devise methods that will permit the Air Force and other large users of computers to reduce costs and time-lags involved in designing and implementing data systems.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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