Semmle Code - Background - Academic

Academic

SemmleCode builds on a long tradition of academic research on querying the source of software programs. The first such system was Linton's Omega system, where queries were phrased in QUEL, a derivative of SQL. QUEL did not allow for recursion in queries, making it difficult to inspect hierarchical program structures such as the call graph. The next significant development was therefore the use of logic programming, which does allow such recursive queries, in the XL C++ Browser. The disadvantage of using a full logic programming language is however that it is very difficult to attain acceptable efficiency. The CodeQuest system, developed at the University of Oxford, was the first to exploit the observation that Datalog, a very restrictive version of logic programming, is in the sweet spot between expressive power and efficiency. The .QL query language is an object-oriented version of Datalog.

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