Re: What is the meaning of an expression?

anton@mips.complang.tuwien.ac.at (Anton Ertl)
Fri, 14 Jan 2022 18:20:48 GMT

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From: anton@mips.complang.tuwien.ac.at (Anton Ertl)
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2022 18:20:48 GMT
Organization: Institut fuer Computersprachen, Technische Universitaet Wien
References: 22-01-052
Injection-Info: gal.iecc.com; posting-host="news.iecc.com:2001:470:1f07:1126:0:676f:7373:6970"; logging-data="24108"; mail-complaints-to="abuse@iecc.com"
Keywords: semantics
Posted-Date: 14 Jan 2022 13:48:48 EST

Roger L Costello <costello@mitre.org> writes:
>Do you always use the word "meaning" or do you sometimes use the word
>"semantics"? Do the two words mean (no pun intended) the same thing to you,
>from a compiler perspective?


"Semantics" is more technical, and not completely synonymous with
"meaning". When talking about the meaning of a piece of code, we tend
to differentiate between syntax (what is described by a context-free
grammar) and semantics (everything beyond that). Semantics is divided
into static semantics (how to interpret the code at compile time), and
run-time semantics (what happens at run-time). Whether you refer to
everything, or just some parts of that when using "meaning" depends on
the context (although I don't think I have seen it used for syntax only).


- anton
--
M. Anton Ertl
anton@mips.complang.tuwien.ac.at
http://www.complang.tuwien.ac.at/anton/


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