Christophe de Dinechin

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Christophe de Dinechin
OccupationComputer scientist
Known forXL programming language
Alpha Waves
HP Integrity Virtual Machines

Christophe de Dinechin is a French computer scientist, with contributions in video games, programming languages and operating systems.

Programming languages[edit]

Dinechin contributed to C++, notably a high-performance exception handling implementation[1] that became a de-facto standard in the industry.[2] de Dinechin was one of the proponents of a portable C++ ABI, initially developed for Itanium, but now widely used across platforms.[3]

XL programming language[edit]

Dinechin is the designer of the XL programming language and associated concept programming methodology.[4] "XL" is named for "eXtensible Language".

XL features programmer-reconfigurable syntax and semantics. Compiler plug-ins can be used to add new features to the language. A base set of plug-ins implements a relatively standard imperative language. Programmers can write their own plug-ins to implement application-specific notations, such as symbolic differentiation, which can then be used as readily as built-in language features.

Similar works[edit]

There are projects that exploit similar ideas to create code with higher level of abstraction. Among them are:

Video games[edit]

As initial developer of Alpha Waves, a "groundbreaking" Atari ST game (listed in the Guinness World Records as the first 3D platform game[5]), de Dinechin heavily influenced Frederick Raynal, the main developer of Alone in the Dark.[6] de Dinechin also wrote a few viral games for HP-48 calculators,[7][8] and was the first person to take advantage of hardware-scrolling on these machines.[9]

Operating systems design[edit]

In the early 2000s, he worked as a software architect for HP-UX,[10] and was the initial designer of HP's virtualisation platform for Itanium servers, HP Integrity Virtual Machines. He was awarded 10 US patents for this work.[11]

Since 2022, he also is the initiator and maintainer of DB48X, a new implementation of RPL.[12][13]

Other work[edit]

Christophe de Dinechin did the initial port of Emacs to the Aqua user interface.[14] He wrote a variety of open-source drivers for the HP DE200C Digital Entertainment Center,[15] turning it from a web-connected CD Player into a true digital video recorder.

Between 2010 and 2017, Christophe de Dinechin was the CEO of Taodyne, a company developing a 3D animation tool, using a derivative of his XL programming language called Tao3D to describe dynamic documents.[16]


Dinechin has published three books:

  • A French science-fiction novel called Informagie[17]
  • A French book about physics called Réunifions la physique[18]
  • A physics book called A theory of incomplete measurements[19]


  1. ^ de Dinechin, Christophe (October 2000). "C++ exception handling for IA-64" (PDF). IEEE Concurrency. ACM. 8 (4): 72–79. doi:10.1109/4434.895109. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
  2. ^ Bocci, Andrea (2004-04-01). "Exception Handling How To". Retrieved 2014-02-24.
  3. ^ "C++ ABI Summary". Mentor Graphics. March 2001. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
  4. ^ Manchester, Phil (2008-01-16). "Dip into Concept Programming". The Register. Retrieved 2010-02-03.
  5. ^ "First 3D platform videogame". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 2023-06-01.
  6. ^ Loguidice, Bill; Barton, Matt (2009). Vintage Games: An Insider Look at the History of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and the Most Influential Games of All Time. Taylor & Francis. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-24081146-8.
  7. ^ "Lemmings for HP-48". Retrieved 2014-02-24.
  8. ^ "PacMan for HP-48". Retrieved 2014-02-24.
  9. ^ "Interview de Paul Courbis". Retrieved 2014-02-24.
  10. ^ Loli, Eugenia (2003-07-08). "Interview with Christophe de Dinechin, HP-UX Engineer". OSNews. Retrieved 2014-02-05.
  11. ^ "US Patents citing Christophe de Dinechin as an inventor". US Patent Office. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
  12. ^ de Dinechin, Christophe (2022). "DB48X on DM42 - RPL runtime for the DM42 calculator, in the spirit of HP48/49/50". DB48X. Archived from the original on 2023-11-03. Retrieved 2023-10-23.
  13. ^ de Dinechin, Christophe (2023-02-03). "Reviving Reverse Polish Lisp - Building an open-source HP48-like calculator". FOSDEM. Archived from the original on 2023-10-03. Retrieved 2023-10-03. (NB. An improved derivative of RPL called DB48X for the SwissMicros DM42 and DM32.)
  14. ^ "Emacs on Aqua". SourceForge. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
  15. ^ "Drivers for the HP DE200C". Grenouille Bouillie. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
  16. ^ "Tao3D". Sourceforge. Retrieved 2023-06-01.
  17. ^ Ravelin, Antoine; de Dinechin, Christophe (2019-10-15). Informagie. Roman d'anticipation - Ou pas (in French) (1 ed.). Christophe de Dinechin. ISBN 978-1-69985081-7.
  18. ^ Réunifions la physique! Du jeu vidéo à une vision pixelisée de l'univers intégrant la Théorie de la Relativité et la Mécanique Quantique (in French) (1 ed.). Dés-Cubes Editions. 2023-05-16. ISBN 979-8-39488223-4. Retrieved 2023-06-01.
  19. ^ A theory of incomplete measurements: Towards a unified vision of the laws of physics (1 ed.). Dés-Cubes Editions. 2022-03-09. ISBN 979-8-42773619-0. Retrieved 2023-06-01.