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A Hierarchical Approach to Formal Semantics With Application to the Definition of PL/ CS

by Robert L. Constable, James Donahue

We describe a means of presenting hierarchically organized formal definitions of programming languages using the denotational approach of D. Scott and C. Strachey. As an example of our approach, we give the semantics of PL/CS, an instructional variant of PL/I. We also discuss the implications of this approach to language design, pointing out some cases where the wrong choices may cause the hierarchy to collapse into chaotic rubble.

bibTex ref: CD79

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