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Conference on Domain-Specific Languages, 1997

A Modular Monadic Action Semantics

Keith Wansbrough and John Hamer
University of Auckland


A domain-specific language (DSL) is a framework which is designed to precisely meet the needs of a particular application. Domain-specific languages exist for a variety of reasons. As productivity tools, they are used to make application prototyping and development faster and more robust in the presence of evolving requirements. Furthermore, by bridging the "semantic gap" between an application domain and program code, DSLs increase the opportunity to apply formal methods in proving properties of an application.

In this paper, we contribute a synthesis of two existing systems that address the problem of providing sound semantic descriptions of realistic programming languages: action semantics and modular monadic semantics. The resulting synthes is, modular monadic action semantics, is compatible with action semantics yet adds true modularity and allows domain specific specifications to be made at a variety of levels.

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