Check out the new USENIX Web site.

Feature-Based Portability

Glenn S. Fowler (
David G. Korn (
John J. Snyder (
Kiem-Phong Vo (

AT&T Bell Laboratories
600 Mountain Avenue
Murray Hill, NJ 07974 USA


Current computing platforms encompass a dizzying variety of hardware and software. A software application may live or die based on how portable it is. Much has been written and talked about how to enhance portability. But few tools are available to support writing portable code and, more importantly, to encode porting knowledge. This paper describes IFFE, a tool and an accompanying programming style that supports software portability. IFFE has enabled the porting and construction of many large software applications on heterogeneous platforms with virtually no user intervention.

Download the full text of this paper in ASCII (30,008 bytes) and POSTSCRIPT (328,553 bytes) form.

To Become a USENIX Member, please see our Membership Information.