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Practical scope recovery using bridge parsing

Publiceringsår: 2009
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 95-113
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Software Language Engineering / Lecture notes in computer science
Volym: 5452
Dokumenttyp: Konferensbidrag
Förlag: Springer


Interactive development environments (IDEs) increase programmer productivity, but unfortunately also the burden on language implementors since sophisticated tool support is expected even for small domain-specific languages. Our goal is to alleviate that burden, by generating IDEs from high-level language specifications using the JastAdd meta-compiler system. This puts increased tension on scope recovery in parsers, since at least a partial AST is required by the system to perform static analysis, such as name completion and context sensitive search.

In this paper we present a novel recovery algorithm called bridge parsing,

which provides a light-weight recovery mechanism that complements existing

parsing recovery techniques. An initial phase recovers nesting structure in

source files making them easier to process by existing parsers. This enables

batch parser generators with existing grammars to be used in an interactive

setting with minor or no modifications.

We have implemented bridge parsing in a generic extensible IDE for JastAdd

based compilers. It is independent of parsing technology, which we validate by showing how it improves recovery in a set of typical interactive editing

scenarios for three parser generators: ANTLR (LL(variable lookahead) parsers), LPG (LALR(k) parsers), and Beaver (LALR(1) parsers). ANTLR and LPG both contain sophisticated support for error recovery, while Beaver requires manual error productions. Bridge parsing complements these techniques and yields better recovery for all these tools with only minimal changes to existing grammars.


  • Computer Science


SLE08, 1st International Conference on Software Engineering
  • EASE
  • ISSN: 1611-3349
  • ISSN: 0302-9743

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