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Language design for program manipulation

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3 Author(s)
Merks, E.A.T. ; Sch. of Comput. Sci., Simon Fraser Univ., Burnaby, BC, Canada ; Dyck, J.M. ; Cameron, R.D.

The design of procedural and object-oriented programming languages is considered with respect to how easily programs written in those languages can be formally manipulated. Current procedural languages such as Pascal, Modula-2 and Ada; generally support such program manipulations, except for some annoying anomalies and special cases. Three main areas of language design are identified as being of concern from a manipulation viewpoint: the interface between concrete and abstract syntax; the relationship between the abstract syntax and static semantics naming, scoping and typing; and the ability to express basic transformations (folding and unfolding). Design principles are suggested so that the problems identified for current languages can be avoided in the future

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Software Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:18 ,  Issue: 1 )