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Semantics of programming languages: Using Asf+Sdf / Peter Mosses

Science of Computer Programming

Swansea University Author: Peter, Mosses

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DOI (Published version): 10.1016/j.scico.2013.11.038

Abstract

A semantic specification of a programming language can be relevant for programmers to understand software written in the language, as well as for the implementers of a language to understand the intentions of its designers. In the early 1980s, Jan Heering and Paul Klint envisioned complete language...

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Published in: Science of Computer Programming
Published: 2013
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa17527
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Abstract: A semantic specification of a programming language can be relevant for programmers to understand software written in the language, as well as for the implementers of a language to understand the intentions of its designers. In the early 1980s, Jan Heering and Paul Klint envisioned complete language specifications as libraries of reusable individual constructs, supported by a generic programming environment. This led to the development of the Asf+Sdf specification language and its Meta-Environment.This paper first recalls how programming languages can be specified in Asf+Sdf. It then analyses the apparent difficulty of reusing the specifications of individual constructs, and considers some alternative styles of semantics that have been supported using Asf+Sdf and its Meta-Environment. It is suggested that these alternative styles could facilitate reuse when specifying programming languages in Rascal, which has superseded Asf+Sdf.
College: College of Science