CS403: Programming Languages

The Designer Programming Language

Printable Version

Preliminary information

Your task is to build an interpreter for a general purpose programming language of your own design. Your language must support the following features:
The only basic types you need to provide are integer and string and you do not need to provide methods for coercing one type to another (although you may find it convenient to do so). The efficiency of your interpreter is not particularly important, as long as you can solve the test problem in a reasonable amount of time. Your language also does not need to support reclamation of memory that is no longer needed. You are to write your program in a statically-typed, imperative language such as C, C++, or Java. Check with me first if you wish to use some other host language. Your dictionary code must be written in your designer language.

Test Problem

In your DPL, write an RPN calculator, with operators: + * - / ^ Ideally, your calculator should be able to read from a file or from stdin. However, you may hard-wire examples to show that your calculator works. Your RPN calculator must use a stack. If your calculator reads from stdin, your problem makefile rule (see below) in your makefile should do something like:
    cat testProblemInputFile | java MyLang rpn.mylang
You will receive a serious deduction if the make problemx rule in your makefile causes a pause for input.


Extra credit will be given to exceptional implementations. Your README file should give pertinent details.

For Undergraduates: if you do not, at least, implement a recognizer for your language, you will fail the course.

For Graduates: if you do not, at least, implement an pretty printer, you will fail the course.

Submitting the assignment

To submit your designer programming language, place all your source code, sample programs, a README detailing how to run and write programs in your language, and a makefile for building your system into one directory. Name the README file README. Your makefile should respond the command
which builds your processor and to the following commands, each of which illustrates a feature of your language:
    make error1
    make error1x
    make error2
    make error2x
    make error3
    make error3x
    make arrays
    make arraysx
    make conditionals
    make conditionalsx
    make recursion
    make recursionx
    make iteration
    make iterationx
    make functions
    make functionsx      # shows that functions are 1st-class
    make dictionary
    make dictionaryx     # shows that you have a log(n) AVL-tree dictionary
The first rule in a pair of rules should print out the appropriate input program, while the x rules should execute that program. In particular, the error rules should show off your parser detecting three different kinds of syntax errors.

Your makefile should also respond to the commands:
    make problem
    make problemx
These commands display the test problem of your implementation and run the test problem, respectively.

Finally, provide an executable shellscript named dpl that runs a program like so:
    dpl testprogram1.mylang
Test programs can be named anything.

Note: in the case of recognizing only, only the error rules need be present in your makefile. In the case of pretty printing only, the run rules should run the input program through the pretty printer.

Finally, your makefile should respond to the command:
    make clean
This command should remove all compilation artifacts (such as .o or .pyc files) so that a clean compile can be performed.

Makefiles for graduate students should additionally respond to the commands:
    make grad
    make gradx
To submit your language interpreter, run the command:
    submit proglan lusth dpl