Syntax diagram driven parser

"Brian Webb" <>
24 Sep 2000 13:43:43 -0400

          From comp.compilers

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Re: Syntax diagram driven parser (Brian Webb) (2000-09-28)
[12 later articles]
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From: "Brian Webb" <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 24 Sep 2000 13:43:43 -0400
Organization: Compilers Central
Keywords: syntax, question

While working on a new language implementation, I developed a parser
and color-coded editor that run off of syntax diagrams. The parser
has been a goal of mine ever since syntax diagrams helped me learn
Turbo Pascal and a color-coded editor is pretty much mandatory if you
want anyone to use your stuff.

So far, it's been pretty successful. I'm using it now with a grammar
containing over 200 diagrams and have tested enough diagrams from SQL
(86 out of +600) to parse some pretty complex SQL statements.

Does anyone out there have any experiences or opinions on this
approach to parsing? It seems like a more natural way to specify a
language than using BNF, lex, and yacc (which I can claim ignorance

Before I spend too much time trying to turn my code into something
other people might want to use, I'm trying to answer the following:

Would anyone use it, even if it worked well?
Are the current methods (BNF, LL?, LALR?) good enough?
What advantages does this approach have?
Are there useful grammars that it excels at?
What disadvantages are there? Is it too slow?

If anyone has time to share their serious opinions
with me, I would appreciate it.

- Brian Webb

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