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Next: Background


Term rewriting has a large potential for industrial applications, but these applications are always larger than one could ever dream of: huge sets of rewrite rules and gigantic terms to rewrite pose interesting challenges for implementors and theoreticians alike. We give a brief overview of the generation of term-rewriting-based tools as done in the ASF+SDF Meta-Environment and then we sketch two major applications of term rewriting: transformation of legacy COBOL systems and compilation of ASF+SDF to C. Based on these experiences we suggest the study of topics that could further advance the use of term rewriting in industrial applications: persistent term databases, generalized LR parsing versus parallel term rewriting, and coordination languages versus strategy languages. It will turn out that we have an ``alien'' view on research in term rewriting: properties like confluence and termination are of very limited use when selling term rewriting to industry.

Paul Klint 2001-06-12