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Attribute Grammars: a Declarative Functional Language

Abstract : Although Attribute Grammars were introduced thirty years ago, their lack of expressiveness has resulted in limited use outside the domain of static language processing. In this paper we show that it is possible to extend this expressiveness. We claim that Attribute Grammars can be used to describe computations on structures that are not just trees, but also on abstractions allowing for infinite structures. To gain this expressiveness, we introduce two new notions: {\em scheme productions\/} and {\em conditional productions}. The result is a language that is comparable in power to most first-order functional languages, with a distinctive declarative character. Our extensions deal with a different part of the Attribute Grammars formalism than what is used in most works on Attribute Grammars including global analysis and evaluator generation. Hence, most existing results are directly applicable to our extended Attribute Grammars including efficient implementation (in our case, using the FNC-2 system http://www-rocq.inria.fr/charme/FNC-2/). The major contribution of this approach is to restore and re-emphasize the intrinsic power of Attribute Grammars. Furthermore, our extensions call for new studies on applying to functional programming the analysis and implementation techniques developed for Attribute Grammars.
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https://hal.inria.fr/inria-00074027
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Submitted on : Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 2:20:58 PM
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Didier Parigot, Gilles Roussel, Étienne Duris, Martin Jourdan. Attribute Grammars: a Declarative Functional Language. [Research Report] RR-2662, INRIA. 1995. ⟨inria-00074027⟩

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