|Programming language specification languages firstname.lastname@example.org (2001-09-20)|
|Re: Programming language specification languages email@example.com (Chris F Clark) (2001-09-21)|
|Re: Programming language specification languages firstname.lastname@example.org (Anthony M. Sloane) (2001-09-25)|
|Re: Programming language specification languages email@example.com (2001-09-25)|
|Re: Programming language specification languages firstname.lastname@example.org (Ira D. Baxter) (2001-09-26)|
|Re: Programming language specification languages email@example.com (2001-09-26)|
|Re: Programming language specification languages firstname.lastname@example.org (2001-10-06)|
|[10 later articles]|
|From:||email@example.com (Nick Maclaren)|
|Date:||20 Sep 2001 00:30:22 -0400|
|Organization:||University of Cambridge, England|
|Posted-Date:||20 Sep 2001 00:30:22 EDT|
I have spent far too much of my life in the areas of interrupt
handling, ill-defined parallelism and the C standard. In my absence
of spare time, I am thinking of putting some of my ideas together for
a debuggable programming language with parallelism, efficiency and
robust handling of (system-generated) interrupts. Now, let us ignore
the fact that it would have to be implemented in C, a language with
none of those properties, and consider its specification.
I would want to specify it at least as precisely as Algol 68, which
isn't hard as far as the syntax goes. But the real problems arise in
the non-syntactic aspects. I am getting old (53) and can no longer
learn new languages at the speed I could, and so am reluctant to waste
effort on the more bizarre program proving notations and so on. I
want something that enables me to say what I want to say, but
Readers of this group can easily understand that 15 years of being
inflicted with C and POSIX leads to such a desire ....
Also, because this is a DESIGN process, I am keen not to have to use a
notation that forces me to use a markup language, on the grounds that
semi-automatic searching and editing of plain text is so much easier.
All good 1960s and 1970s software engineering principles, though
that's not what we called it then. What I want is something enough
beyond BNF that I can define type-consistency, scoping, aliasing and
value-constraint rules. The really fancy stuff can be said in
It is easy enough to invent my own notation, but that is a stupid
idea on several grounds. The question is whether needs must, or
whether there is an appropriate specification language. Has anyone
considered or tackled this task, and with what conclusion, if any?
University of Cambridge Computing Service,
New Museums Site, Pembroke Street, Cambridge CB2 3QG, England.
Tel.: +44 1223 334761 Fax: +44 1223 334679
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