The Meta-Environment - ReleaseNotes

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[Feb 26, 2007] Release Candidate 2.0-RC2

We have put the next release candidate of The Meta-Environment online. This includes:

This release candidate is the next step towards a full release of Meta-Environment 2.0. It is still a release candidate, because there are a number of missing features (as compared to release 1.5.3), and development of ASF+SDF specifications in the studio is too slow (not optimized).

Note that if you are upgrading from the 1.5.x series, you should read the release notes of RC1 too. RC2 includes the following improvements with respect to RC1:


Portability and stability







[May 16, 2006] Release Candidate 2.0-RC1

We have decided to put a Release Candidate of the full ASF+SDF Meta-Environment online: version 2.0-RC1

It has been a while since the previous release, and a lot of work has been done:

This is a Release Candidate, because we think a lot more has to be done to finish version 2.0 as a product:

Below you will find the only available documentation on what changed and what you need to do to get your specifications working. We ARE catching up on the documentation front.




Required software



User interface

Syntax Definition Formalism and SGLR

     [bB][eE][gG][iI][nN] -> 'begin' 
     [eE][nN][dD]         -> 'end'
remember the case-sensitive notation is still:
"begin" STAT* "end" -> PROGRAM
which generates:
     [b][e][g][i][n] -> "begin" 
     [e][n][d]       -> "end"
     context-free priorities
     {  E "[" E "]" -> E
        E "bla"     -> E
     } <0> >
        E "*" E     -> E {left}
The first group has a higher priority than the second group, but only in the first (0) argument. Between the <..> brackets comma separated lists of argument numbers are accepted. We start counting at zero, and count EVERY MEMBER of the left hand side including literals, counting nested symbols as 1 member, and ignoring the implicit LAYOUT? non-terminal.

Algebraic Specification Formalism

        lexical syntax
          [0-9]+ -> Number
          Number "." Number -> Real
        lexical variables
          "digit"[0-9]*  -> [0-9]
          "digits"[0-9]* -> [0-9]+
          "num"[0-9]*    -> Number
          "real"[0-9]*   -> Real
        lexical variables
          "half"   -> [0-4]
          "more"   -> [0-9A-F]
The variable 'half' is acceptable everywhere [0-9] is also acceptible. The variable 'more' is not accepted at [0-9] locations.

[January 18, 2006] sub-release of Pandora

[December 17, 2004] Release 1.5.3:

A small release with some bugfixes and some polishing:

[December 2, 2004] Release 1.5.2:

This is mainly a maintenance release, fixing a number of bugs. However, a number of important features have been added:

[July 2, 2004] Release 1.5.1:

A small release with some bugfixes and some polishing:

[May 10, 2004] Release 1.5:

We are pleased to announce the following release: ASF+SDF Meta-Environment 1.5

This release contains many radical improvements of many aspects of ASF, SDF and the Meta-Environment. There are new features, some old features have been replaced by new features, and some features have become deprecated without replacement.

Old ASF+SDF specifications can be upgraded automatically using the Upgrade menus in the environment. Detailed comments on the important changes can be found below at NEWS. You are advised to read them.

We would like to thank you for your valuable feedback on previous versions, especially the Beta testers of release 1.5.

Have fun!

The Meta-Environment development team.

Contents of this announcement


Installing the system requires the following software pre-installed on your system, and available in your PATH:

See,, and

NOTE: XEmacs is not supported anymore


An integrated source bundle can be downloaded from MetaEnvironmentDownload?

First make sure the required software is installed and available in your PATH.

The following commands will compile the system and install it in /opt/asfsdf-meta15:

$ gunzip -c asfsdf-meta-distribution-1.5.tar.gz | tar xvf -
$ cd asfsdf-meta-distribution-1.5
$ ./configure --prefix=/opt/asfsdf-meta15
$ make


Feedback can be submitted directly using Bugzilla:

Or send us an email:

Please address questions to:


Changes in the Environment

Changes in the SDF formalism and its implementation

Changes in the ASF formalism and its implementation

  [tag] lhs == rhs   or   [tag] lhs != rhs or

  [tag] conditions   or   [tag] conditions
        ==========              ==========
        lhs == rhs              lhs != rhs

[August 6, 2003] Release 1.4.1:

Release 1.4 contained a number of inconsistencies that have been quickly remedied. Some of the features announced in 1.4 were not released properly.

Other changes since 1.4:

[July 31, 2003] Release 1.4:

The Meta-Environment version 1.4 is a maintainance release. The openness and flexibility have been improved again, at the cost of some of the run-time performance, between 20% and 30% performance loss. Some practical features have been added on the user-interface level, making editing specifications and finding bugs in ASF+SDF specification much easier. The editors have become much more stable.

Important detail:

A summary of changes:

Summarizing, version 1.4 of the ASF+SDF Meta-Environment is completely different from version 1.3 with respect to its internal structure and also to its behaviour of buttons, etc. We gained quite some flexibility and the maintenance of the entire system has become much simpler.

However, the price we paid for it was a loss of efficiency. Depending on the application it can be between 20% and 30%. This is specially noticable when starting the system and loading in modules. We will try to fix a number of these inefficiency bugs in the near future.

[February 11, 2003] Release 1.3:

[July 25, 2002] Release 1.2:

 ./configure --prefix=/path/to/prefix
./configure --prefix=/path/to/prefix

[April 30, 2002] Release 1.1.1

Release 1.1.1 contains bugfixes and some experimental features, including a new interface based on Swing:

[February 25, 2002] Release 1.1:

[November 21, 2001] Release 1.0.1:

Release 1.0.1 of the Meta-Environment quickly follows 1.0 with some bugfixes:

[November 15, 2001] Release 1.0:

[August 20, 2001] Release 0.8.1:

Release 0.8.1 of the ASF+SDF Meta-Environment involves a number of bug fixes and small changes with respect to previous release.

[July 18, 2001] Release 0.8:

Release 0.8 of the ASF+SDF Meta-Environment involves some small and some major changes with respect to previous releases:

Older releases