A Formalization and Correctness Proof of the CGOL Language System [Pratt Parser] (1975)

Author: Michael L. Van De Vanter (Master's Thesis)

In many important ways the design and implementation of programming languages are hindered rather than helped by BNF. We present an alternative meta-language based on the work of Pratt which retains much of the effective power of BNF but is more convenient for designer, implementer, and user alike. Its amenability to formal treatment is demonstrated by a rigorous correctness proof of a simple implementation.

Note: The parsing technology embedded in the CGOL Language System later became known as the "Pratt Parser".

Technical Report MIT-LCS-TR-147, Laboratory for Computer Science, Massachussetts Institute of Technology, March 1975. PDF (99 pages).