[antlr-interest] Graph grammars

Ludwig Maes ludwig.maes at gmail.com
Thu May 10 09:54:51 PDT 2012

After some more research such tools exist: GenGED, Atom3,...

Also relevant "A type graph model for java programs" at

On 9 May 2012 22:02, Ludwig Maes <ludwig.maes at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi,
> Playing with ANTLR and ANTLRworks is a very educative experience.
> I was wondering if what ANTLR does to parse sentences (strings) from a
> language (set of strings), could be generalized to parsing graphs from
> graph languages. Then I recently found
> http://www.odysci.com/article/1010112992272431.
> What holds me back the most from using parsers or compiler middle
> ends, is the huge hidden complexity in application specific
> representation of information: there is much more than the parse tree
> or abstract syntax tree, every applications stores specific kinds of
> information in specialized structures.
> In general I view (intended) information to be graphlike, where people
> have agreed to linearize/tree-ify for purpouse of communication
> (between humans, or humans and software, i.e. a compiler). Compilers
> do not store everything it knows about code it is compiling in one big
> graph for multiple (performance?) reasons. For example scopes and
> other information are stored in specific structures. When I want to
> automate a kind of transformation (or even mere visualization) of
> code, I really just want this single graph vs a parse tree or AST.
> This may necessitate some ontology for the information at hand (i.e.
> the ontology would be an implicit part of the API agreement between
> parser/compiler middle end and the user). It would then be up to the
> user to only use the subgraph it is interested in (this way the user
> only needs to learn 1) the specific "ontology" and 2) how to perform
> manipulations on the graph) as opposed to learning the applications
> multiple specialized data structures, and finding out how to gain
> access to them, let alone use them correctly.
> Are there any (open source) tools similar too ANTLR (in terms of
> cleanness and functionality) which output graphs instead of parse
> trees or AST's, or which can parse graphs as in the mentioned paper?
> greetings

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