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From: Simon Buchan (simon_at_[hidden])
Date: 2005-09-26 18:54:25

Jonathan Turkanis wrote:
> Simon Buchan wrote:
>>Interesting: an 'abstract machine' representing the compiler is almost
>>exactly the informal description used by version of the standard I saw
> But it's not defined precisely enoung to be called 'formal' by my standards.
> Compare it with the definition of abstract state machines
> (, for example.
> Note that I'm not criticising the standard (although it certainly has some
> problems with lack of precision). It would be nice to have a truly formal
> specification, but in the case of C++ it's probably not realistic.
I do think it's possible (If it wasn't, we wouldn't be able to write
compilers for it!), but remember the standard has basicly grown out of
rewordings from the days of C (which did likewise back to B, etc...)
I think a formal, but human-readable, grammar, kind of like EBNF for
semantics, would be useful here. (From what I understand of ASM's, they
are rather scary to read)

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