Meta-programming with Concrete Object Syntax

Eelco Visser. Meta-programming with Concrete Object Syntax. In Don S. Batory, Charles Consel, Walid Taha, editors, Generative Programming and Component Engineering, ACM SIGPLAN/SIGSOFT Conference, GPCE 2002, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, October 6-8, 2002, Proceedings. Volume 2487 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 299-315, Springer, 2002. [doi]


Meta programs manipulate structured representations, i.e., abstract syntax trees, of programs. The conceptual distance between the concrete syntax meta-programmers use to reason about programs and the notation for abstract syntax manipulation provided by general purpose (meta-) programming languages is too great for many applications. In this paper it is shown how the syntax definition formalism SDF can be employed to fit any meta-programming language with concrete syntax notation for composing and analyzing object programs. As a case study, the addition of concrete syntax to the program transformation language Stratego is presented. The approach is then generalized to arbitrary meta-languages.