Friendly Incremental Prototyping

Manuel Vilares Ferro
Miguel Angel Alonso Pardo

Proc. of ASF+SDF'95 Workshop on Generating Tools from Algebraic Specifications , pp. 127-142. Technical Report P9504, Programming Research Group, University of Amsterdam, 1995.


A development environment for interactive systems devoted to generate formal languages is described. Our system is organized around three cooperative modules. The first is a generator of general context-free parsers, following different parsing schemes among several available. The second is a generic incremental parsing facility that can be used to make the overall parsing process efficient in the context of program development. The third is an extensible user graphical interface that provides a complete set of customization and trace facilities for the system.

The final tool has been baptized Ice, after Incremental Context-Free Environment. All components in Ice show a reasonable grade of efficiency both, in space and time. In an empirical comparison, it appears to be superior to other general context-free parsing environments and is comparable to the classic deterministic ones, when the context is not ambiguous. The cooperative architecture allows the modification of the environment, by adding or redesigning modules, with low impact on other components

Key Words: Incremental Parsing, Interactive Programming, Parser generation, Prototyping, reuse of Components.

Manuel Vilares Ferro /
Miguel Angel Alonso Pardo /