Programs that run on a computer are written in a computer language, and the languages used for writing computer programs have significantly evolved over time. By abstracting from the details of the underlying computer architecture, higher-level languages aim at making the process of developing a program simpler and more understandable than when using a lower-level language. Modern languages offer us a variety of different concepts for expressing (executable) programs. Domain-specific (modeling) languages are even created specifically to solve problems in a particular domain of interest. However, programs written in a higher-level language must be translated into a lower-level, executable representation, which requires various forms of compilers doing this job for us.
This course will provide students with an introduction to modern compiler construction. The first two-thirds of the course will cover classical topics ranging from scanning and parsing over semantic analysis and interpretation to code generation and optimization. In the exercises, we will develop a fully functional interpreter for our own programming language. The remaining third of the course is dedicated to study the transition form classical compiler techniques into principles of model-driven software development. In the exercises, we will develop a fully functional, domain-specific modeling environment.
Why should I take this course?
The magic of computer languages:
- Ever wanted to make your own programming language or wondered how they are designed and built?
- If so, this is already enough. But there are also very practical reasons:
Little languages are everywhere:
- Even if you will most likely not be faced with the task of implementing a fully-fledged compiler in your professional life, there is a good chance you will find yourself in need of writing a parser in order to process various documents written in tiny little languages.
Domain-specific Languages and Model-driven Development
- There has been a hype on DSLs and Model-driven development in the past, and larger software development projects in various domains successfully adopted these paradigms.
- Building sophisticated model-driven software engineering environments is the backbone of running these projects.
Overview (Spring Semester 2023)
- Lecturer: Timo Kehrer
- Assistants: Sandra Greiner, Manuel Ohrndorf
- Course materials: ILIAS
- Lectures: Thursday 13:15 - 15:00 (Hörraum 120, Hauptgebäude H4)
- Exercise hour: Thursday 15:00 - 16:00 (Hörraum 120, Hauptgebäude H4)
- Stream/Podcast: Available through ILIAS course
- Language: English
- Start: Thursday, February 23, 2023
- Exam: Oral exam of 20 minutes; Mon, 19.06.2023 (Hörraum 105, Hauptgebäude H4)
- Course Repetition: Spring Semester 2024
Schedule (Spring Semester 2023)
Part I: Classical Compiler Construction
- 23-Feb-23: Introduction
- 02-Mar-23: Lexical Analysis: Handwritten Scanners
- 09-Mar-23: Lexical Analysis: Scanner Generators
- 16-Mar-23: Syntax Analysis: Grammars and Syntax Trees
- 23-Mar-23: Syntax Analysis: Top-Down Parsing
- 30-Mar-23: Syntax Analysis: Parser Generators
- 06-Apr-23: PEGs, Packrats and Parser Combinators (Guest Lecture by Oscar Nierstrasz)
- 13-Apr-23: Spring Break
- 20-Apr-23: Semantic Analysis and Interpretation
- 27-Apr-23: Code Generation and Optimization
Part II: Modeling Language Engineering
- 04-May-23: Defining/Implementing Modeling Languages
- 11-May-23: Modeling Technologies
- 18-May-23: Holiday
- 25-May-23: Eclipse Modeling Framework & Tools
- 01-Jun-23: Q&A