Spring Semester 2019
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Course Project

Design and implementation of a compiler for the MiniJava language (a small subset of Java)

To implement the compiler you will use the tools JavaCC and JTB

The implementation for phases 2 and 3 of the project will be done in Java utilizing the visitor pattern

Homework Description Deadline
1 Implementation of a LL(1) parser for a simple calculator and a translator to Java for a language for string operations 31/03/2019
2 Semantic Check (MiniJava) 06/05/2019
3 Generating intermediate code (MiniJava -> LLVM)

Homework 1 - LL(1) Calculator Parser - Translator to Java

Part 1

For the first part of this homework you should implement a simple calculator. The calculator should accept expressions with the bitwise AND(&) and XOR(^) operators, as well as parentheses. The grammar (for single-digit numbers) is summarized in:

exp -> num | exp op exp | (exp)

op -> ^ | &

num -> 0 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

You need to change this grammar to support priority between the two operators, to remove the left recursion for LL parsing, etc.

This part of the homework is divided in two parts:

  1. For practice, you can write the FIRST+ & FOLLOW sets for the LL(1) version of the above grammar. In the end you will summarize them in a single lookahead table (include a row for every derivation in your final grammar). This part will not be graded.

  2. You have to write a recursive descent parser in Java that reads expressions and computes the values or prints "parse error" if there is a syntax error. You don't need to identify blank space or multi-digit numbers. You can read the symbols one-by-one (as in the C getchar() function). The expression must end with a newline or EOF.

Part 2

In the second part of this homework you will implement a parser and translator for a language supporting string operations. The language supports the concatenation operator over strings, function definitions and calls, conditionals (if-else i.e, every "if" must be followed by an "else"), and the following logical expressions:

  • is-prefix-of (string1 prefix string2): Whether string1 is a prefix of string2.
  • is-suffix-of (string1 suffix string2): Whether string1 is a suffix of string2.

All values in the language are strings.

Your parser, based on a context-free grammar, will translate the input language into Java. You will use JavaCUP for the generation of the parser combined either with a hand-written lexer or a generated-one (e.g., using JFlex, which is encouraged).

You will infer the desired syntax of the input and output languages from the examples below. The output language is a subset of Java so it can be compiled using the "javac" command and executed using the "java" command or online Java compilers like this, if you want to test your output.

There is no need to perform type checking for the argument types or a check for the number of function arguments. You can assume that the program input will always be semantically correct.

Note that each file of Java source code you produce must have the same name as the public Java class in it. For your own convenience you can name the public class "Main" and the generated files "Main.java". In order to compile a file named Main.java you need to execute the command: javac Main.java. In order to execute the produced Main.class file you need to execute: java Main.

To execute the program successfully, the "Main" class of your Java program must have a method with the following signature: public static void main(String[] args), which will be the main method of your program, containing all the translated statements of the input program. Moreover, for each function declaration of the input program, the translated Java program must contain an equivalent static method of the same name. Finaly, keep in mind that in the input language the function declations must precede all statements.

Example #1


    name()  {
    surname() {
    fullname(first_name, sep, last_name) {
        first_name + sep + last_name

    fullname(name(), " ", surname())

Output (Java):

public class Main {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        System.out.println(fullname(name(), " ", surname()));

    public static String name() {
        return "John";

    public static String surname() {
        return "Doe";

    public static String fullname(String firstname, String sep, String last_name) {
        return first_name + sep + last_name;

Example #2


    name() {

    repeat(x) {
        x + x

    cond_repeat(c, x) {
        if (c prefix "yes")
            if("yes" prefix c)

    cond_repeat("yes", name())
    cond_repeat("no", "Jane")

Example #3


    findLangType(langName) {
        if ("Java" prefix langName)
            if(langName prefix "Java")
                if("script" suffix langName)
            if ("script" suffix langName)
                "Probably Dynamic"


Homework 2 – MiniJava Static Checking (Semantic Analysis)

This homework introduces your semester project, which consists of building a compiler for MiniJava, a subset of Java. MiniJava is designed so that its programs can be compiled by a full Java compiler like javac.

Here is a partial, textual description of the language. Much of it can be safely ignored (most things are well defined in the grammar or derived from the requirement that each MiniJava program is also a Java program):

  • MiniJava is fully object-oriented, like Java. It does not allow global functions, only classes, fields and methods. The basic types are int, boolean, and int [] which is an array of int. You can build classes that contain fields of these basic types or of other classes. Classes contain methods with arguments of basic or class types, etc.

  • MiniJava supports single inheritance but not interfaces. It does not support function overloading, which means that each method name must be unique. In addition, all methods are inherently polymorphic (i.e., “virtual” in C++ terminology). This means that foo can be defined in a subclass if it has the same return type and argument types (ordered) as in the parent, but it is an error if it exists with other argument types or return type in the parent. Also all methods must have a return type--there are no void methods. Fields in the base and derived class are allowed to have the same names, and are essentially different fields.

  • All MiniJava methods are “public” and all fields “protected”. A class method cannot access fields of another class, with the exception of its superclasses. Methods are visible, however. A class's own methods can be called via “this”. E.g., this.foo(5) calls the object's own foo method, a.foo(5) calls the foo method of object a. Local variables are defined only at the beginning of a method. A name cannot be repeated in local variables (of the same method) and cannot be repeated in fields (of the same class). A local variable x shadows a field x of the surrounding class.
  • In MiniJava, constructors and destructors are not defined. The new operator calls a default void constructor. In addition, there are no inner classes and there are no static methods or fields. By exception, the pseudo-static method “main” is handled specially in the grammar. A MiniJava program is a file that begins with a special class that contains the main method and specific arguments that are not used. The special class has no fields. After it, other classes are defined that can have fields and methods.
    Notably, an A class can contain a field of type B, where B is defined later in the file. But when we have "class B extends A”, A must be defined before B. As you'll notice in the grammar, MiniJava offers very simple ways to construct expressions and only allows < comparisons. There are no lists of operations, e.g., 1 + 2 + 3, but a method call on one object may be used as an argument for another method call. In terms of logical operators, MiniJava allows the logical and ("&&") and the logical not ("!"). For int arrays, the assignment and [] operators are allowed, as well as the a.length expression, which returns the size of array a. We have “while” and “if” code blocks. The latter are always followed by an “else”. Finally, the assignment "A a = new B();" when B extends A is correct, and the same applies when a method expects a parameter of type A and a B instance is given instead.

The MiniJava grammar in BNF can be downloaded here. You can make small changes to grammar, but you must accept everything that MiniJava accepts and reject anything that is rejected by the full Java language. Making changes is not recommended because it will make your job harder in subsequent homework assignments. Normally you won't need to touch the grammar.

The MiniJava grammar in JavaCC form is here. You will use the JTB tool to convert it into a grammar that produces class hierarchies. Then you will write one or more visitors who will take control over the MiniJava input file and will tell whether it is semantically correct, or will print an error message. It isn’t necessary for the compiler to report precisely what error it encountered and compilation can end at the first error. But you should not miss errors or report errors in correct programs.

The visitors you will build should be subclasses of the visitors generated by JTB, but they may also contain methods and fields to hold information during static checking, to transfer information from one visitor to the next, etc. In the end, you will have a Main class that runs the semantic analysis initiating the parser that was produced by JavaCC and executing the visitors you wrote. You will turn in your grammar file, if you have made changes, otherwise just the code produced by JavaCC and JTB alongside your own classes that implement the visitors, etc. and a Main. The Main should parse and statically check all the MiniJava files that are given as arguments.

Also, for every MiniJava file, your program should store and print some useful data for every class such as the names and the offsets of every variable and method this class contains. For MiniJava we have only three types of variables (int, boolean and pointers). Ints are stored in 4 bytes, booleans in 1 byte and pointers in 8 bytes (we consider functions and int arrays as pointers). Corresponding offsets are shown in the example below:


  class A{
      int i;
      boolean flag;
      int j;
      public int foo() {}
      public boolean fa() {}

  class B extends A{
      A type;
      int k;
      public int foo() {}
      public boolean bla() {}


  A.i : 0
  A.flag : 4
  A.j : 5
  A.foo : 0
  A.fa: 8
  B.type : 9
  B.k : 17
  B.bla : 16

There will be a tutorial for JavaCC and JTB. You can use these files as MiniJava examples and to test your program. Obviously you are free to make up your own files, however the homework will be graded purely on how your compiler performs on all the files we will test it against (both the above sample files and others). You can share ideas and test files, but you are not allowed to share code.

Your program should run as follows:

java [MainClassName] [file1] [file2] ... [fileN]

That is, your program must perform semantic analysis on all files given as arguments. May the Force be with you!