In this paper we describe the application of the theory of graph transformations to the practise of language design. We have defined the semantics of a small but realistic object-oriented language (called TAAL) by mapping the language constructs to graphs and their operational semantics to graph transformation rules. In the process we establish a mapping between UML models and graphs.
TAAL was developed for the purpose of this paper, as an extensive case study in engineering object-oriented language semantics using graph transformation. It incorporates the basic aspects of many commonly used object-oriented programming languages: apart from essential imperative programming constructs, it includes inheritance, object creation and method overriding. The language specification is based on a number of meta-models written in UML.
Both the static and dynamic semantics are defined using graph rewriting rules.
In the course of the case study, we have built an Eclipse plug-in that automatically transforms arbitrary TAAL programs into graphs, in a graph format readable by another tool. This second tool is called Groove, and it is able to execute graph transformations. By combining both tools we are able to visually simulate the execution of any TAAL program.
|Name||CTIT Technical Report Series|
|Publisher||Centre for Telematics and Information Technology, University of Twente|