Question about denotational semantics

PMeunier <>
18 Nov 1997 12:22:07 -0500

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From: PMeunier <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 18 Nov 1997 12:22:07 -0500
Organization: Compilers Central
Keywords: denotational semantics, question

I was reading some time ago some Turing Award lectures when I came
across the one by Dana Scott about denotational semantics of
programming languages, which I found extremely interesting. Following
the references, I found a tutorial by R.D. Tennent on the same topic,
and to my great delight I also found burried in our library a book by
J. Brady which contains a whole chapter on this subject.

Now I'm looking for more information, but since it seems I've
exhausted the available literature here, since we don't have access to
the internet and since I cannot afford to subscribe to the
comp.compilers mailing list, I would like to know if some nice
individuals would be ready to help me get articles, answer questions,
etc, about denotational semantics (and maybe about general recursive
function theory too).

I think my first question is: what is the current state of the
research in denotational semantics ? I had never heard about it before
finding Scott's paper, and somehow it looks to me (at least from where
I am) like this part of computer science is not very lively today...

The other question I have is about applications: I know some toy
languages have been developped and Brady says in his book that an IBM
project in Vienna actually gave a semantic definition of PL/1, but has
it been any consequential, lasting practical application of the theory

Please reply directly to me... (I will summarize if people express interest)

Thank you very much,

Philippe Meunier Chancellor College
Lecturer in Computer Science PO BOX 280, Zomba Malawi, Africa

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