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By Peter D. Mosses

Motion Semantics is a singular method of the formal description of programming languages. Its abstractness is at an intermediate point, among that of denotational and operational semantics. motion Semantics has enormous pragmatic benefits over all past ways, in its comprehensibility and accessibility, and particularly within the usefulness of its semantic descriptions of real looking programming languages. during this quantity, Dr Peter Mosses provides a radical creation to motion semantics, and offers mammoth illustrations of its use. Graduates of laptop technology or maths who've an curiosity within the semantics of programming languages will locate motion Semantics a such a lot beneficial publication.

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Abbreviations can be introduced. All this is specified algebraically, using an expressive meta-notation that also encompasses grammars and semantic equations, as explained in the next chapter. Navigation • / / you would now like to see how a medium-scale action semantic description looks, make an excursion to Appendix A. • Otherwise, proceed to Chapter 3 for an explanation of the simple, expressive, and somewhat unorthodox framework for algebraic specifications that we use in action semantics. Exercises 1.

It would matter if we were using grammars to specify concrete syntax: grammars with left and right recursive nonterminals are Chapter 2. Action Semantic Descriptions 26 always ambiguous, which makes them inappropriate as a basis for parsing—unless disambiguation rules are specified as well. 2. Note that occasionally, the use of recursive nonterminal symbols in abstract syntax may needlessly complicate the semantic description. For instance, the abstract syntax for Digits in Exercise 3 does not have a straightforward compositional semantics!

Mutual dependence is allowed. • Our grammars for specifying abstract syntax are context-free. They allow regular expressions. Double brackets [ . . ] indicate node construction. Terminal symbols may be characters or strings. Abstract syntax is not concerned with parsing, so the possible ambiguity of grammars is irrelevant. • Semantic equations are inductive definitions of semantic functions that map abstract syntax trees compositionally to semantic entities. The semantic equations for a particular semantic function must be exhaustive, and must not overlap.

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