Tim Felgentreff, Alan Borning, Robert Hirschfeld, Todd Millstein

Babelsberg/RML

executable semantics and language testing with RML



ISBN: 978-3-86956-348-0
66 pages, Monographie
Release year 2016

Series: Technische Berichte des Hasso-Plattner-Instituts für Softwaresystemtechnik an der Universität Potsdam , 103

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New programming language designs are often evaluated on concrete implementations. However, in order to draw conclusions about the language design from the evaluation of concrete programming languages, these implementations need to be verified against the formalism of the design. To that end, we also have to ensure that the design actually meets its stated goals. A useful tool for the latter has been to create an executable semantics from a formalism that can execute a test suite of examples. However, this mechanism so far did not allow to verify an implementation against the design. Babelsberg is a new design for a family of object-constraint languages. Recently, we have developed a formal semantics to clarify some issues in the design of those languages. Supplementing this work, we report here on how this formalism is turned into an executable operational semantics using the RML system. Furthermore, we show how we extended the executable semantics to create a framework that can generate test suites for the concrete Babelsberg implementations that provide traceability from the design to the language. Finally, we discuss how these test suites helped us find and correct mistakes in the Babelsberg implementation for JavaScript.

New programming language designs are often evaluated on concrete implementations. However, in order to draw conclusions about the language design from the evaluation of concrete programming languages, these implementations need to be verified against the formalism of the design. To that end, we also have to ensure that the design actually meets its stated goals. A useful tool for the latter has been to create an executable semantics from a formalism that can execute a test suite of examples. However, this mechanism so far did not allow to verify an implementation against the design. Babelsberg is a new design for a family of object-constraint languages. Recently, we have developed a formal semantics to clarify some issues in the design of those languages. Supplementing this work, we report here on how this formalism is turned into an executable operational semantics using the RML system. Furthermore, we show how we extended the executable semantics to create a framework that can generate test suites for the concrete Babelsberg implementations that provide traceability from the design to the language. Finally, we discuss how these test suites helped us find and correct mistakes in the Babelsberg implementation for JavaScript.