After taking ten classes covering many interesting software engineering topics, I completed my Master’s Report entitled Language Applications for UEFI BIOS. Here is the abstract:
The Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) is the industry-standard Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) firmware specification used by modern desktop, portable, and server computers, and is increasingly being ported to today’s new mobile form factors as well. UEFI is firmware responsible for bootstrapping the hardware, turning control over to an operating system loader, and then providing runtime services to the operating system.
ANTLR (ANother Tool for Language Recognition) is a lexer-parser generator for reading, processing, executing, and translating structured text and binary files. It supersedes older technologies such as lex/yacc or flex/bison and is widely used to build languages and programming tools. ANTLR accepts a provided grammar and generates a parser that can build and walk parse trees.
This report studies UEFI BIOS and compiler theory and demonstrates ways compiler theory can be leveraged to solve problems in the UEFI BIOS domain. Specifically, this report uses ANTLR to implement two language applications aimed at furthering the development of UEFI BIOS implementations. They are:
1. A software complexity analysis application for UEFI created that leverages ANTLR’s standard general-purpose C language grammar. The complexity analysis application uses general-purpose and domain-specific measures to give a complexity score to UEFI BIOS modules.
2. An ANTLR grammar created for the VFR domain-specific language, and a sample application which puts the grammar to use. VFR is a language describing visual elements on a display; the sample application creates an HTML preview of VFR code without requiring a developer to build and flash a BIOS image on a target machine to see its graphical layout.
My Master’s Report has finally been published in the University of Texas library system and is ready for download from the following links:
Also, I’ve posted to Github the source code for the various applications and ANTLR grammars I created for the report:
I hope you find it interesting. If you’d like, leave me a comment (below) on what you think of the report!