Parsing people, unite! Call for position papers for Parsing@SLE (SPLASH, Indianapolis)

Parsing@SLE is a new workshop on parsing programming languages and other software languages. The intended participants are the authors of parser generation tools and parsers for programming languages and other software languages. For the purpose of this workshop "parsing" is a computation that takes a sequence of characters as input and produces a tree or graph shaped model as output. This possibly includes tokenization using regular expressions, deriving trees using context-free grammars, mapping to abstract syntax trees and perhaps even some semantic analysis.

The goal of the workshop is to bring together today's experts in the field of parsing, in order to explore open questions and possibly forge new collaborations. The topics may include algorithms, implementation and generation techniques, syntax and semantics of meta formalisms (BNF), etc. We expect to attract participants that have been or are developing theory, techniques and tools in the broad area of parsing non-natural languages such as programming languages and other software languages (domain specific languages, configuration languages, build languages, data description languages, query languages, etc.)

We solicit short abstracts, asking for positions, demonstrations and early achievements. The submissions will be reviewed on relevance and clarity, and used to plan the mostly interactive sessions of the day.

* workshop website
* Deadline August 15 2013
* Notification September 1 2013
* Submit a position paper

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verified parsers/generators

Workshop is promising. I encourage someone with necessary skills to expand on verified parsing capabilities at the workshop. The "TRX" and INRIA's "Validating LR(1) Parsers" papers were particularly nice. The ability to make correct by construction parsers can be a nice building block in security engineering for input validation or preventing errors from hand-made parsers. Similar to some XML tools or google protocol buffers, the developer could specify the structure of the input data, then automatically generate a robust implementation. This might be used for configuration files, communication protocols, other compilation/generation tools, alternative document formats, etc.


I like the emphasis on collaboration among active participants with different but relevant views; the overhead of pushing out papers in Academic Normal Form is a huge barrier to entry for industry players like me.

Of course, attending a conference is by itself a non-trivial expense. I'll check about and see if we can put together the motivation and wherewithal, as this workshop is right up my professional alley. Too bad it popped up on my radar so late.

too much research on parsers

Haven't we wasted enough time on parsers? More research on parsers will just encourage people to design more complicated and incomprehensible syntax. Just choose a damn easy syntax for your language and we are done :-P

Going incremental

There are still interesting topics in this space. No one is interested in supporting more convoluted syntax, but better tools (like better IDEs) would be nice.