IDL specification language

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Not to be confused with IDL (programming language).

IDL (Interface Description Language) is a software interface description language (also referred to as Interface Descriptor Language) created by William Wulf and John Nestor of Carnegie Mellon University and David Lamb of Queen's University, Canada.

Like other interface description languages, IDL defined interfaces in a language- and machine- independent way, allowing the specification of interfaces between components written in different languages, and possibly executing on different machines using remote procedure calls.


  • David Alex Lamb, Sharing intermediate representations: the interface description language, Ph.D. Dissertation, Carnegie-Mellon University, Department of Computer Science, 1983
  • David Alex Lamb, "IDL: sharing intermediate representations", ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems 9:3:297-318 (July 1987)
  • John Nestor, Joseph M. Newcomer, Paola Gianinni, and Donald Stone, IDL: The language and its Implementation, Prentice-Hall, 1990.
  • Richard Snodgrass, The Interface Description Language: Definition and Use, W.H. Freeman, 1989

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