Friday, 14 May 2010

Language Modules

A language consists of syntax and semantics. The concrete syntax can be defined using a grammar and actions in grammar rules can provide a language with a semantics. For example, a grammar for a simple integer expression language can evaluate the expressions as the parse progresses. However, fixing the semantics of a language too early means that the language cannot easily be viewed as a reusable module. Why would we want reusable language modules? A key driver is that language engineering has become an increasingly important part of system engineering. Modern programming languages provide facilities for extensibility and domain specific languages are developed as part of system architectures; therefore there are increasing opportunities for taking parts of one language and using them as the basis for another language. Language modules and language factories aim to  develop an understanding of composibility and reusability in language engineering.

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