Attribute grammar specification languages, like many domain specific languages, offer significant advantages to their users, such as high-level declarative constructs and domain-specific analyses. Despite these advantages, attribute grammars are often not adopted to the degree that their proponents envision. One practical obstacle to their adoption is a perceived lack of both domain-specific and general purpose language features needed to address the many different aspects of a problem. Here we describe Silver, an extensible attribute grammar specification language, and show how it can be extended with general purpose features such as pattern matching and domain specific features such as collection attributes and constructs for supporting data-flow analysis of imperative programs. The result is an attribute grammar specification language with a rich set of language features. Silver is implemented in itself by a Silver attribute grammar and utilizes forwarding to implement the extensions in a cost-effective manner.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
1 This work is partially funded by NSF CAREER Award #0347860, NSF CCF Award #0429640, and the McKnight Foundation.