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The Design of a Language-Based Editor. for MSG.-84

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000128583D
Original Publication Date: 1986-Dec-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Sep-16
Document File: 10 page(s) / 37K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Johnny Martin: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

Language-based editors have been used as powerful development tools for block-structured programming languages. These editors are equipped with knowledge about the syntax of a particular language and provide a cooperative environment for editing language struc-tures. The major benefit of these editors is interactive syntax checking, although some provide additional semantic analysis as well.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

The Design of a Language-Based Editor. for MSG.-84

by

Johnny Martin Valdis Berzins

Computer Science Department

136 Lind Hall

Institute of Technology

University of Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota 554m

TR 86-8

February 1986

. Technical Report The Design of a Language-Based Editor for MSG.84

a

Johnny Martin

Valdis Berzins

Computer Science Department

University of Minnesota

Minneapolis, MN 55455

ABSTRACT

Language-based editors have been used as powerful development tools for block-structured programming languages. These editors are equipped with knowledge about the syntax of a particular language and provide a cooperative environment for editing language struc-tures. The major benefit of these editors is interactive syntax checking, although some provide additional semantic analysis as well.

MSGED is a language-based editor for a design specification language called MSG.84. MSG.84 design specifications are not intended for compilation to machine code, but instead are used in further analysis and design. MSG.84 is a vehicle for precisely and for-mally describing functional and architectural specifications.

University of Minnesota Page 1 Dec 31, 1986

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The Design of a Language-Based Editor. for MSG.-84

MSGED helps the designer edit specifications by doing incremental syntactic analysis dur-ing the editing session. MSGED contains built-in knowledge about the construction of design specifications written in MSG.84, and it assists the user by providing editing opera-tions that follow the syntactic structure of MSG.84. The result of an editing session with MSGED is a syntax tree for the design specification. MSGED can unparse and output this tree according to one of several stylistic indentation and formatting schemes. MSGED has been used by students for class projects in software engineering at The University of Min-nesota. MSGED is not the ultimate solution in software development tools, but it does provide the advanced software designer with a workable alternative to primitive text edi-tors.

Keywords: syntax directed editor, editor generator, specification language.

la Introduction

Language-based editors have been used as powerful development tools for block-structured pro-gramming languages (Don84, Fis84, Med82). This paper reports the use of a language- based editor for a formal design language used in the development of functional and architectural specifications for software systems, called MSG.84 (Ber85) . MSG.84 is a precise and formal language, currently supported by a parser/translator, a type checker, and language based edi-tor, called "MSGED".

This paper outlines the development of MSGED, and presents a survey of the field of language- oriented editors, while emphasizing the design decisions made during the development of MSGED. The advantages and disadvantages of various editing models are presented. (In particular, the features of the ALOE' editor-ge...