[antlr-interest] The idea of semantic analyzer generator

Loring Craymer lgcraymer at yahoo.com
Tue Nov 10 17:11:27 PST 2009

What you are describing is an attribute grammar; the idea was first published by Knuth in 1968.  Do a literature search on citeseer or google the web; you will find lots of references (wikipedia has an article, although not a very good one).  Attribute grammars are a perennial research topic, but attribute grammar systems have never made it into the mainstream.  I believe that the big drawback is the monolithic processing (everything in one grammar or dependent on one grammar); multi-pass translation is the mainstream compiler approach.


----- Original Message ----
> From: GreyAx <greyax at mail.ru>
> To: antlr-interest at antlr.org
> Sent: Tue, November 10, 2009 12:27:48 PM
> Subject: [antlr-interest] The idea of semantic analyzer generator
> Hello,
> I'm looking for topics to investigate in part of my master thesis. I'm 
> interesting in verification, static code analysis and so on.
> I have an idea, which I want to implement and integrate with ANTLR, please give 
> me any feedback about it.
> I'd started work with ANTLR till some time ago and my colleagues use it 
> sometimes (to create DSL). And as I see, there is some unsolved problems in 
> ANTLR. And IMHO the one of the most important is that user have to write 
> semantic analyzer by hand (of course he or she could and should use tree 
> grammars for doing it and could implement custom actions for checking some 
> semantic rules, but in fact the semantic within such approach is only a code 
> written in some ordinary programming language (C\C#\Java\...).  I wonder would 
> it be useful for user to use semantic analyzer generation module within ANLTR? I 
> think it could be implemented as a new grammar language for describing semantic 
> rules or something like that. Could somebody point out to such things? Are there 
> any semantic analyzer generators? And if there isn't any, is such thing looks 
> not very useful for practical using?
> Thank you
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