A form of representation of data that is independent of machine-oriented structures and encodings and also of the physical representation of the data. Abstract syntax is used to give a high-level description of programs being compiled or messages passing over a communications link.
A compiler’s internal representation of a program will typically be an abstract syntax tree. The abstract syntax specifies the tree’s structure is specified in terms of categories such as “statement”, “expression” and “identifier”. This is independent of the source syntax (concrete syntax) of the language being compiled (though it will often be very similar).
A parse tree is similar to an abstract syntax tree but it will typically also contain features such as parentheses which are syntactically significant but which are implicit in the structure of the abstract syntax tree.
- Abstract syntax notation 1
abstract syntax notation 1 language, standard, protocol (ASN.1, X.208, X.680) An ISO/ITU-T standard for transmitting structured data on networks, originally defined in 1984 as part of CCITT X.409 ’84. ASN.1 moved to its own standard, X.208, in 1988 due to wide applicability. The substantially revised 1995 version is covered by the X.680 series. ASN.1 defines […]
- Abstract syntax tree
abstract syntax tree compiler (AST) A data structure representing something which has been parsed, often used as a compiler or interpreter’s internal representation of a program while it is being optimised and from which code generation is performed. The range of all possible such structures is described by the abstract syntax. (1994-11-08)
- Abstract thinking
abstract thinking abstract thinking n. Thinking characterized by the ability to use concepts and to make and understand generalizations, such as of the properties or pattern shared by a variety of specific items or events. Contemporary Examples It also leads to a corresponding increase in risk-taking and abstract thinking. Petraeus May Have Been Felled by […]
- Abstract window toolkit
abstract window toolkit graphics (AWT) Java’s platform-independent windowing, graphics, and user-interface toolkit. The AWT is part of the Java Foundation Classes (JFC) – the standard API for providing a graphical user interface (GUI) for a Java program. Compare: SWING. [“Java in a Nutshell”, O’Reilly]. (http://java.sun.com/products/jdk/awt/). (2000-07-26)