Programming Language Technology

Course codes: Chalmers - DAT151 (replaces DAT150), GU - DIT231 (replaces DIT230)
Winter Term 2015 (LP2)

Official URL:

Google group: (please provide your full name and date of birth when requesting membership!)


GU course description:

Last year course page:

Tentative Schedule

All lectures are in HC2, starting at 13:15.

Material: plt = course book, dragon = Dragon book. Slides follow closely the plt book.

Date Time Title Material
Tue 03/11 13-15 Introduction: Compilation Phases slides, plt 1, dragon 1
Thu 05/11 13-15 Grammars slides, plt 2, dragon 2.8.2,4.1-4.3
Tue 10/11 13-15 Hands-on with Lab 1 lab1 PM
Thu 12/11 13-15 Theory of lexing and parsing slides, parse table, plt 3, dragon 3,4
Mon 16/11 23 Lab 1 deadline lab1 PM
Tue 17/11 13-15 Type checking slides, plt 4, dragon 5,6
Thu 19/11 13-15 Interpreters slides, plt 5
Tue 24/11 13-14 Hands-on with Lab 2 (Haskell) lab2 PM
Tue 24/11 14-15 Hands-on with Lab 2 (Java) lab2 PM
Thu 26/11 13-15 Code generation slides, plt 6, dragon 6,7
Mon 30/11 23 Lab 2 deadline lab2 PM
Tue 01/12 13-14 Hands-on with Lab 3 (Haskell) lab3 PM
Tue 01/12 14-15 Hands-on with Lab 3 (Java) lab3 PM
Thu 03/12 13-15 Functional programming languages slides, plt 7, dragon 6.5,7.3
Tue 08/12 13-15 Hands-on with Lab 4 lab4 PM
Thu 10/12 13-15 The language design space slides, plt 8, dragon 1.
Mon 14/12 23 Lab 3 deadline lab3 PM
Thu 17/12 13-15 Preparing for the exam Training Exam
Mon 11/01 23 Lab 4 deadline lab4 PM
Fri 15/01 14-18 Exam (in H) old exams
Sat 16/01 23 Final lab deadline all lab returns
Wed 06/04 8.30-12.30 Exam (in M) old exams
Fri 08/04 Late final lab deadline
Wed 17/08 14-18 Exam (in M) old exams

The official course schema is in Time Edit.


The aim of the course is to give understanding of how programming languages are designed, documented, and implemented. The course covers the basic techniques and tools needed to write interpreters, and gives a summary introduction to compilation as well. Those who have passed the course should be able to

  1. define the lexical structure of programming languages by using regular expressions, explain the functioning of finite automata, and implement lexical analysers by using standard tools;
  2. define the syntax of programming languages by using context-free grammars, explain the principles of LL and LR parsing, and implement parsers by using standard tools;
  3. define and implement abstract syntax;
  4. master the technique of syntax-directed translation and its efficient implementation in their chosen programming language;
  5. formulate typing rules and implement type checkers;
  6. formulate operational semantic rules and implement interpreters;
  7. write simple code generators;
  8. be familiar with the basic implementation issues of both imperative and functional languages;
  9. design and implement special-purpose programming languages.
  10. master the principles of polymorphic type checking by unification
  11. implement an interpreter for a functional language


Andreas Abel, course examiner.

Fredrik Lindblad, contact and lectures.

John Camilleri, Daniel Hausknecht, Inari Listenmaa, assistants.

The fastest way to get an answer is to mail the course's Google group Please provide your full name and date of birth when requesting membership! Otherwise your request will be bounced back or ignored.

Google Group

If you have any general questions regarding the course, the labs or the exercises, please ask them in our Google group This will reach all teachers and fellow students. If you are not yet member of the group, you have to

You will have to give your real name and your person number (or date of birth) when you register, otherwise your membership is not approved. This is necessary to identify you as a participant of the course.

Laboration times and supervision


Attendance in these classes is optional. Normally, each student should attend at most one supervised laboration time each week. Since attendance is not compulsory, there may be room for more times. But, if there is lack of room, those who attend their first supervision of the week have priority to get a place and supervisor help.


There will be four laborations, written individually or in pairs.

Reporting is done via Fire. Before reporting, you must run your program through a test suite.

We guarantee two gradings per lab: one for the version submitted before the ordinary deadline for that lab, the other for a resubmission before the final deadline. If your first submission is after the lab deadline, only one grading is guaranteed.

If you didn't pass the labs by the end of the course you will have another opportunity in connection with the re-exam in April. The deadline will be Friday, April 8. If you intend to re-submit labs then, please contact the course responsible via email on March 31 at the latest. If you need help you should also contact the course responsible, not the teaching assistants. Note however that you can only expect limited support. If you need a substantial amount of help, it's probably better to wait until next time the course is given.


The main book will be one that developed from earlier editions of this course:

If you are really interested in the topic, for instance, if you want to continue with the Compiler Construction course, you should also consider the Dragon book,

Both books are available at web bookshops. The main book will also be sold at Cremona.


Written exam, usual grading scales.

Exam dates: 15 Jan 2016 em H, 06 Apr 2016 fm J, 17 Aug 2016 em J

The exam has the same structure as these old exams.

Further, here are some exercises and solutions to prepare for the exam.


BNF Converter,

If using the Java backend, you will need the Cup and JLex libraries. You can download pre-compiled versions here. Make sure they are placed in your classpath, for example by extracting to ~/javatools/ adding the following to .bashrc:

    export CLASSPATH=.:~/javatools/:~/javatools/Cup/:${CLASSPATH}