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Abstract syntax

<language, data> A representation of data (typically either a message passing over a communications link or a program being compiled) which is independent of machine-oriented structures and encodings and also of the physical representation of the data (called "concrete syntax" in the case of compilation or "transfer syntax" in communications).

A compiler's internal representation of a program will typically be specified by an abstract syntax 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.

< Previous Terms Terms Containing abstract syntax Next Terms >
abstract data type
abstract interpretation
abstract machine
Abstract Machine Notation
abstract syntax
Abstract Syntax Notation 1
abstract syntax tree
Abstract Syntax Notation 1
abstract syntax tree
Abstract-Type and Scheme-Definition Language
Abstract Windowing Toolkit
Abstract Window Toolkit

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