Chapter 8. Generating Textual Concrete Syntax

She got her looks from her father. He’s a plastic surgeon.

—Groucho Marx U.S. comedian (1890–1977)

This chapter focuses on the concrete syntax of textual languages. We investigate the generation of a textual concrete syntax from an abstract syntax model. Large parts of this chapter were published in Kleppe [2007].

8.1 The Grasland Generator

Following the writings of Frederick P. Brooks in “No Silver Bullet” [Brooks 1986], I distinguish between the essential part and accidental part of software construction. In 1995, Brooks wrote a response to critics of the original article, and a review of the silver bullets, that missed the mark over the intervening decade, called “‘No Silver ...

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