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      Component-Based Description of Programming Languages

      Visions of Computer Science - BCS International Academic Conference (VOCS)

      BCS International Academic Conference

      22 - 24 September 2008

      Programming languages, Formal methods, Syntax, Semantics, Modularity, Reuse

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          Abstract

          Research in formal description of programming languages over the past four decades has led to some significant achievements. These include formal syntax and semantics for complete major programming languages, and theoretical foundations for novel features that might be included in future languages. Nevertheless, to give a completely formal, validated description of any significant programming language using the conventional frameworks remains an immense effort, disproportionate to its perceived benefits. Our diagnosis of the causes of this disappointing situation highlights two major deficiencies in the pragmatic aspects of formal language descriptions in conventional frameworks: lack of reusable components, and poor tool support.

          Part of the proposed remedy is a radical shift to a novel component-based paradigm for the development of complete language descriptions, based on simple interfaces between descriptions of syntactic and semantic aspects, and employing frameworks that allow independent description of individual programming constructs. The introduction of a language-independent notation for common programming constructs maximises the reusability of components. Tool support for component-based language description is being developed using the ASF+SDF Meta- Environment; the aim is to provide an efficient component-based workbench for use in design and implementation of future programming languages, accompanied by an online repository for validated formal descriptions of programming constructs and languages.

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          Most cited references 16

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          Semantics of context-free languages

           Donald Knuth (1968)
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            The syntax definition formalism SDF---reference manual---

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              The Asf+Sdf Meta-environment: A Component-Based Language Development Environment

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Conference
                September 2008
                September 2008
                : 275-286
                Affiliations
                Department of Computer Science, Swansea University

                Singleton Park, Swansea, SA2 8PP, United Kingdom
                Article
                10.14236/ewic/VOCS2008.23
                © Peter D. Mosses et al. Published by BCS Learning and Development Ltd. Visions of Computer Science - BCS International Academic Conference

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

                Visions of Computer Science - BCS International Academic Conference
                VOCS
                Imperial College, London, UK
                22 - 24 September 2008
                Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
                BCS International Academic Conference
                Product
                Product Information: 1477-9358BCS Learning & Development
                Self URI (journal page): https://ewic.bcs.org/
                Categories
                Electronic Workshops in Computing

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