Re: Java front end? (Richard A. O'Keefe)
26 Feb 1996 10:39:31 -0500

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From: (Richard A. O'Keefe)
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 26 Feb 1996 10:39:31 -0500
Organization: Comp Sci, RMIT, Melbourne, Australia
References: 96-02-275 96-02-278
Keywords: Java, lex, parse

I asked:
> There is a student here who is interested in building a style checker
> for Java as a project. It would save him a lot of time, and result in
> a more powerful checker for everyone, if he could start from an
> existing Java front end.

Thank you VERY much all you nice people who told me places to look.
I've pulled one lex/yacc version over already. (Steve_Kilbane) writes:
>Have you approached Sun on this? When the Alpha came out, the
>licence to the sources was free, I think. You pretty much just had
>to email them saying you wouldn't sell anything based on it.

No I haven't. I expect the student will, however. On the other hand,
if his project is successful, we'd like to be able to give the source
code for the style checker away free to all comers, and Sun might not
be too happy about that.

I note that an important aspect of any such tool is factoring it. For
Ada, there was DIANA and there is ASIS; the idea being that one
"group" can produce an Ada->DIANA or Ada->ASIS parser, producing an
annotated data structure, and another "group" can produce a software
engineering tool (cross-referencer or whatever) that uses a standard
interface to walk over this data structure. You want to preserve
source location information (file/line/column), comments, and so on.

It would be really nice if there were a JSIS specification.

Are there any other languages besides Ada where there is an official
or semi-official interface like ASIS? In a sense, Lisp has one,
because Lisp programs have a standard representation as data
structures, and the tools for building a code-walker are there in the
language, though source location and comments have been lost. (One of
my gripes about UNIX support for C is that 'cscope' is there and
builds a data base that could be useful for all sorts of things, but
the xyzs don't tell you what the format of that data base is.)

Richard A. O'Keefe;; RMIT Comp.Sci.

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