BCS-FACS Seminar on Programming Language Semantics, 3 March 2006, London, UK

"FACS FACTS Editor" <Paul.Boca@virgin.net>
11 Feb 2006 14:05:01 -0500

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BCS-FACS Seminar on Programming Language Semantics, 3 March 2006, Lond Paul.Boca@virgin.net (FACS FACTS Editor) (2006-02-11)
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From: "FACS FACTS Editor" <Paul.Boca@virgin.net>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 11 Feb 2006 14:05:01 -0500
Organization: Compilers Central
Keywords: courses
Posted-Date: 11 Feb 2006 14:05:01 EST

                                            BCS-FACS Evening Seminar

                          Programming Language Description Languages:
                          From Scott and Strachey to Semantics Online

                                            Professor Peter Mosses

                                        University of Wales Swansea

                                                    3 March 2006

                                                start time: 5.45pm

                                                BCS London Offices
                                                First Floor
                                                The Davidson Building
                                                5 Southampton Street
                                                London WC2E 7HA


Since the middle of the last century, hundreds of programming
languages have been designed and implemented - and new ones
are continually emerging. The syntax of a programming language
can usually be described quite precisely and efficiently using
formal grammars. However, the formal description of its
semantics is much more challenging. Language designers,
implementers, and programmers commonly regard precise semantic
descriptions as impractical and too costly. Research in semantics
has allowed us to reason about software and has provided valuable
insight into the design of programming languages, but few semantic
descriptions of full languages have been published, and hardly
any of these are currently available online.

One of the major approaches to formal semantics is denotational
semantics, developed by Scott and Strachey in the late 1960s.
Why has such a theoretically attractive approach been found
impractical for describing full-scale programming languages?
Does it help much to use monads in denotational descriptions,
or is a more radical change needed? How might efficient online
access to a repository of semantic descriptions be provided?
Could it ever become as easy to generate efficient compilers
and interpreters from semantic descriptions as it already is
to generate parsers from grammars? This talk addresses such
questions, and gives some grounds for optimism about the
development of highly practical, online semantic descriptions.

Refreshments will be served from 5.15pm

The seminar is free of charge and open to everyone. If you would
like to attend, please email Paul Boca[Paul.Boca@virgin.net] by
>>> 28 February 2006 <<<. Pre-registration is required, as security
at the BCS Offices is tight.

Location of venue:


BCS-FACS website:


BCS-FACS Evening Seminars website:


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