Re: origin of "panic mode"

"J.H.Jongejan" <>
15 Apr 2003 00:17:53 -0400

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From: "J.H.Jongejan" <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 15 Apr 2003 00:17:53 -0400
Organization: RuG
References: 03-04-035
Keywords: history, parse, errors
Posted-Date: 15 Apr 2003 00:17:52 EDT

Carl Cerecke wrote:
> Where does the term "panic mode" (as in the syntax error recovery
> scheme, rather than the state one is in when trying to meet a thesis
> deadline :-) originate?
> Most papers/chapters on syntax error recovery, if they mention "panic
> mode", have no associated citation.
> The earliest citation I've seen is that "Production compilers from the
> sixties such as that for XPL (McKeeman, Horning and Wortman, 1970)
> traditionally use a form of error recovery call 'panic mode'. " quoted
> from a paper by J. Dain. in 1989.
> McKeeman et. al. wrote a book "A Compiler Generator", Prentice-Hall,
> 1970. It is available via Amazon, but I'd rather not buy it. The poor
> exchange rate coupled with the freight costs to New Zealand along with
> the possibility that it might not be useful anyway mean I'm not going
> to buy it online.
> In any case, it would be good to be able to cite the source of the
> term "panic mode" if anybody knows what it is.

I found in Tremblay & Sorenson: panic mode (Graham and Rhodes, 1975).
This is from the CACM, Vol.18, No.11, pp.639-650. It seems they
described it (in 1973) first, and then implemented it in a compiler
for a subset of Algol60.

A still older text is Compiler Construction, editors Baure &
Eickel,, Springer 1974,1976(2nd Ed). It mentions Graham and Rhodes,
1973: Conference record of ACM symposium on principles of programming
languages, Boston.

Yours sincerely,

Jan Jongejan
Dept. Comp.Sci.,
Univ. of Groningen,

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