Computer Science Department
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


Flexible Unparsing in a Structure Editing Environment


David Garlan

April 1985

Generators of structure editing-based programming environments require some form of unparse specification language with which an implementor can describe mappings between objects in the programming environment and concrete, visual representations of them. They must also provide an unparser to execute those mappings in a running programming environment. We describe one such unparse specification language, called VIZ, and its unparser, called UAL. VIZ combines in a uniform descriptive framework a variety of capabilities to describe flexible views of a programming database using a library of high-level formatting routines that can be customized and extended by the implementor. The UAL unparser allows the highly conditional unparse mappings of VIZ to be executed efficiently. Its implementation is based on the automatic generation of explicit display views , together with a scheme for efficient incremental updating of them in response to arbitrary changes to objects in the programming environment.

38 pages

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