Ralf Lämmel, Vadim Zaytsev. Recovering Grammar Relationships for the Java Language Specification. In Ninth IEEE International Working Conference on Source Code Analysis and Manipulation, SCAM 2009, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, September 20-21, 2009. pages 178-186, IEEE Computer Society, 2009.
We describe a completed effort to recover the relationships between all the grammars that occur in the different versions of the Java Language Specification (JLS). The relationships are represented as grammar transformations that capture all accidental or intended differences between the JLS grammars. This process is mechanized and it is driven by simple measures of nominal or structural differences between any pair of grammars involved. Our work suggests a form of consistency management for the JLS in particular, and language specifications in general.