TXL (programming language)
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|Paradigm||Pattern-matching and Term-rewriting|
|Designed by||Charles Halpern-Hamu and James Cordy|
|Developer||Charles Halpern-Hamu and James Cordy|
TXL is a special-purpose programming language originally designed by Charles Halpern-Hamu and James Cordy at the University of Toronto in 1985. The acronym "TXL" originally stood for "Turing eXtender Language" after the language's original purpose, the specification and rapid prototyping of variants and extensions of the Turing programming language, but no longer has any meaningful interpretation.
Modern TXL is specifically designed for creating, manipulating and rapidly prototyping language-based descriptions, tools and applications using source transformation. It is a hybrid functional / rule-based language using first order functional programming at the higher level and term rewriting at the lower level. The formal semantics and implementation of TXL are based on formal term rewriting, but the term structures are largely hidden from the user due to the example-like style of pattern specification.
Each TXL program has two components: a description of the source structures to be transformed, specified as a (possibly ambiguous) context-free grammar using an extended Backus–Naur Form; and a set of tree transformation rules, specified using pattern / replacement pairs combined using first order functional programming. TXL is designed to allow explicit programmer control over the interpretation, application, order and backtracking of both parsing and rewriting rules, allowing for expression of a wide range of grammar-based techniques such as agile parsing.
%Syntax specification define program [repeat number] end define
%Transformation rules rule main replace $ [repeat number] N1 [number] N2 [number] Rest [repeat number] where N1 [> N2] by N2 N1 Rest end rule
%Syntax specification define program [number] end define
%Transformation rules function main replace [program] p [number] by p [fact][fact0] end function
function fact replace [number] n [number] construct nMinusOne [number] n [- 1] where n [> 1] construct factMinusOne [number] nMinusOne [fact] by n [* factMinusOne] end function function fact0 replace [number] 0 by 1 end function
- J.R. Cordy, C.D. Halpern and E. Promislow, 1991. TXL: A Rapid Prototyping System for Programming Language Dialects. Computer Languages 16,1 (January 1991), 97-107.
- J.R. Cordy, 2006. The TXL Source Transformation Language. Science of Computer Programming 61,3 (August 2006), 190-210.