Bootstrapping Domain-Specific Meta-Languages in Language Workbenches
It is common practice to bootstrap compilers of programming languages. By using the compiled language to implement the compiler, compiler developers can code in their own high-level language and gain a large-scale test case. In this paper, we investigate bootstrapping of compiler-compilers as they occur in language workbenches. Language workbenches support the development of compilers through the application of multiple collaborating domain-specific meta-languages for defining a language’s syntax, analysis, code generation, and editor support. We analyze the bootstrapping problem of language workbenches in detail, propose a method for sound bootstrapping based on fixpoint compilation, and develop recipes for conducting breaking meta-language changes in a bootstrapped language workbench. We have applied sound bootstrapping to the Spoofax language workbench and report on our experience.
Mon 31 Oct
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