Semantics for Programming Languages


Semantics for Object Oriented Programming Languages

    Formal semantic description techniques
      Formal semantic description techniques are valuable as a tool for specification and programming language designers, since they help prevent ambiguity. They can also be of use in software engineering, where they can be used to reason about properties of a design. Formal semantic description techniques can also aid in judging programming or specification language designs, by revealing hidden interactions between features, and by giving you a sense of how simple or complex the design is.

      Formal methods (specification and verification) are becoming increasingly important at many companies, and a deep understanding of the semantics of programming languages is a great help in using formal methods. Without understanding the semantics of such features, you may also have difficulty discussing programming language ideas with others, and will have difficulty in reading the technical literature. If you are planning in specializing in some other area of computer science, you may someday need to read some of the literature on programming languages, either to use results from programming languages, or to apply ideas from your area to programming language research.

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          "There are two ways to slide easily through life:
                Namely, to believe everything, or to doubt
              everything; both ways save us from thinking."

                                  - Alfred Korzybski