Declarative Name Binding and Scope Rules

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Preprint of paper published in: SLE 2012 - 5th International Conference on Software Language Engineering, 26-28 September 2012, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 7745; doi:10.1007/978-3-642-36089-3_18 In textual software languages, names are used to reference elements like variables, methods, classes, etc. Name resolution analyses these names in order to establish references between definition and use sites of elements. In this paper, we identify recurring patterns for name bindings in programming languages and introduce a declarative metalanguage for the specification of name bindings in terms of namespaces, definition sites, use sites, and scopes. Based on such declarative name binding specifications, we provide a language-parametric algorithm for static name resolution during compile-time. We discuss the integration of the algorithm into the Spoofax Language Workbench and show how its results can be employed in semantic editor services like reference resolution, constraint checking, and content completion.