Issue No. 06 - November (1977 vol. 3)
M. Marcotty , Computer Science Department, General Motors Research Laboratories
The mechanism used to define the programming language PL/I in the recently adopted American National Standard is presented. This method provides a rigorous though semiformal specification of the language. If uses the model of translation of programs into an abstract form to define the context-free and context-sensitive syntax. The semantics are defined by the interpretation of the abstract form of the program on a hypothetical machine. The method and metalanguage are presented along with several small examples to illustrate the definition technique's features. The complete definition process is shown by the definition of a small example language.
standardization, Abstract machine, formal definition, operational semantics, PL/I, programming language
M. Marcotty, F.G. Sayward, "The Definition Mechanism for Standard PL/I", IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. 3, no. , pp. 416-450, November 1977, doi:10.1109/TSE.1977.231174