Bounded Seas

— Island Parsing Without Shipwrecks
  • Jan Kurš
  • Mircea Lungu
  • Oscar Nierstrasz
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8706)


Imprecise manipulation of source code (semi-parsing) is useful for tasks such as robust parsing, error recovery, lexical analysis, and rapid development of parsers for data extraction. An island grammar precisely defines only a subset of a language syntax (islands), while the rest of the syntax (water) is defined imprecisely.

Usually, water is defined as the negation of islands. Albeit simple, such a definition of water is naive and impedes composition of islands. When developing an island grammar, sooner or later a programmer has to create water tailored to each individual island. Such an approach is fragile, however, because water can change with any change of a grammar. It is time-consuming, because water is defined manually by a programmer and not automatically. Finally, an island surrounded by water cannot be reused because water has to be defined for every grammar individually.

In this paper we propose a new technique of island parsing — bounded seas. Bounded seas are composable, robust, reusable and easy to use because island-specific water is created automatically. We integrated bounded seas into a parser combinator framework as a demonstration of their composability and reusability.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Kurš
    • 1
  • Mircea Lungu
    • 1
  • Oscar Nierstrasz
    • 1
  1. 1.Software Composition GroupUniversity of BernSwitzerland

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