Ladle is a language for specifying the structure of certain kinds of formal languages. The name stands for LAnguage Description LanguagE.

A Ladle specification defines two structural aspects of language representation: lexical and syntactic. (A semantic specification will be added in a future release.) The syntax description encompasses the abstract syntax of the language, the internal tree representation of this abstract syntax and how to parse and unparse such syntax trees.

The Ladle processor transforms a language specification into a set of tables that are used by the interactive language-based editor Pan I to map between text and abstract syntax trees, using either bottom-up parsing or structural elaboration. Access to the tables is provided by a client interface for Ladle.

The report first gives some background information and discusses the functionality of the Ladle processor at a fairly high level. The theoretical basis for Ladle is described. Subsequent sections specify Ladle's input format and semantics, its output data and format, and the client interface to Ladle's output tables.




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