This is the homepage for our Formal Semantics as a Language Designer’s Toolbox — A case for semantics-inspired language design abstract and relevant project.
Formal Semantics as a Language Designer’s Toolbox — A case for semantics-inspired language design. With Klaus Ostermann, Tillmann Rendel and Eric Walkingshaw. We will present a talk at DSLDI ‘14.
With the rise of domain-specific languages, more people are designing languages than ever, but the art of language design is hard to master. In this talk, we make a case for adapting insights from formal semantics into design patterns and conceptual tools for language design.
Semanticists have invested significant effort in developing these insights in the pursuit of mathematical elegance, indirectly providing us with a toolbox full of design tools that are simple and powerful. We will introduce a few of these design tools, illustrating how language designers can start applying insights from formal semantics right now, without being experts in the subject or incurring the overhead of formalizing their entire language. The design tools we present are just a starting point and we hope to inspire other language designers to adapt this utilitarian view of formal semantics, to help us reuse the effort and expertise of semanticists by adapting their insights into easily applied design tools.
This project benefited from ideas of many different people:
- Paolo G. Giarrusso
- Klaus Ostermann
- Tillmann Rendel
- Eric Walkingshaw
Further acknowledgments in the paper itself.
- 2014-10-17: Website online