Re: The Gentle Compiler Construction System

fidel viegas <>
17 Jan 2003 23:02:59 -0500

          From comp.compilers

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From: fidel viegas <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 17 Jan 2003 23:02:59 -0500
Organization: Compilers Central
References: 02-12-124 02-12-134
Keywords: tools
Posted-Date: 17 Jan 2003 23:02:59 EST

Robby wrote:
> I haven't used it recently. The last time was about four years ago. My
> experience was very favourable, although the reliance on yacc and lex
> can be a bit irritating, considering the power of the rest of the
> system. For some rapid prototyping, Gentle is pretty much ideal.
> It is very much a term rewriting system, allowing you to write very
> powerful tree translation code. The syntax is reasonably elegant. I
> found defining and using data types to be vaguely cumbersome.
> I think nowadays, I would use SML or Haskell in preference. A "real"
> programming language can be such a boon. Especially since Gentle uses
> yacc and lex pretty much directly. So the parsing side is taken care
> of by standard tools anyway, what Gentle brings on its own can be very
> easily implemented in a modern functional language. Gentle's semi-automatic
> tree walker constructs are probably the only thing you don't get for free.
> But I have found them to be a little complicated to use effectively.

I have used it about two years ago and as Robby said, the only
annoying thing is its reliance to yacc and lex (or flex and
bison). Apart from that, it is a very good system for writing text to
text translators. If you want to generate binary files, then you have
to write the modules in C and then call them from gentle.

Anyway, just give a try and see for yourself.

All the best


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