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Kernel Syntax

The rules from context-free and lexical syntax are translated into kernel syntax by the SDF3 normalizer. When writing kernel syntax, one has more control over the layout between symbols of a production.

As part of normalization, among other things, SDF3 renames each symbol in the lexical syntax to include the suffix -LEX and each symbol in the context-free syntax to include the suffix -CF.

For example, the two productions

lexical syntax

    BinaryConst = [0-1]+

context-free syntax

  Block.Block = "{" Statement* "}"

written in kernel syntax look like


    Block-CF.Block  = "{" LAYOUT?-CF Statement*-CF LAYOUT?-CF "}"
    BinaryConst-LEX = [0-1]+

Literals and character classes are lexical by definition, thus they do not need any suffix. Note that each symbol in kernel syntax is uniquely identified by its full name including -CF and -LEX. That is, two symbols named Block-CF and Block are different, if both occur in kernel syntax. However, Block-CF is the same symbol as Block if the latter appears in a context-free syntax section.

As mentioned before, layout can only occur in between symbols if explicitly specified.

For example, the production


    Block-CF.Block  = "{" Statement*-CF LAYOUT?-CF "}"

does not allow layout to occur in between the opening bracket and the list of statements.

This means that a fragment such as:

      x = 1;

would not be recognized as a block.

Last update: May 31, 2024
Created: May 31, 2024