Re: Formal semantics of language semantics

"Mark" <whopkins@alpha2.csd.uwm.edu>
29 Sep 2002 17:01:59 -0400

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[9 later articles]
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From: "Mark" <whopkins@alpha2.csd.uwm.edu>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 29 Sep 2002 17:01:59 -0400
Organization: University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, Computing Services Division
References: 02-09-149
Keywords: semantics

"Joe Hendrix" <j*lstnme*@uiuc.edu> writes:
>Are there any notations commonly used to define the semantics of a
>programming language? (Similar to how BNF defines the syntax).


There are several common sets of formal machinery in existence. Some
have been recast in algebraic language, see Dexter Kozen's site:
www.cs.cornell.edu/kozen
noting, particularly, the papers related to Kleene Algebra with Tests.


I've described in some detail a purely syntatic representational
formalism which embodies intra- and inter- procedural control flow
directly within the complex structures of an infinitary lambda
calculus. In it, all the rules relating to control flow analysis can
be derived and need not be postulated because in the representation,
there is no control flow. I show in somewhat sketchy outline form how
this is done in the case of Denotational Semantics.


Look under
Infinitary Lambda Calculus & Programming Languages
currently at
www.csd.uwm.edu/~whopkins/functional/index.html


The BC extension, C-BC, which I released in 1993 translates C-BC into
a purely expression-based infinitary language. This is described in
some detail under the C-BC implementation notes, currently at:


www.csd.uwm.edu/~whopkins/cbc/index.html


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