LEX and YACC, jeff & mutt

arthur@lgc.UUCP (arthur)
2 Nov 89 23:21:28 GMT

          From comp.compilers

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LEX and YACC, jeff & mutt arthur@lgc.UUCP (1989-11-02)
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Re: LEX and YACC, jeff & mutt turpin@cs.utexas.edu (1989-11-04)
Re: LEX and YACC, jeff & mutt joshua@athertn.Atherton.COM (1989-11-07)
Re: LEX and YACC, jeff & mutt arc!steve@apple.com (1989-11-08)
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From: arthur@lgc.UUCP (arthur)
Newsgroups: comp.compilers,comp.edu
Keywords: LEX, YACC
Date: 2 Nov 89 23:21:28 GMT
Distribution: usa
Bogus: Being mere mortals in the world of computer sciences, we all too
Bogus: often find ourselves bashing through unfamiliar territory; and
Bogus: yet in every sense of the term "professional", we must dutifully
Bogus: present theory and fact, as though our very own.....

Well, I'm at that sort of a cross road right now, and must turn to
this community for advise :

If someone were to ask you for the reason/s why you wrote your SQL II
(BNF as given by ANSI) interpreter by way of recursive descent
parsing, as opposed to simply using tools like LEX and YACC, what
would you say ?....

I can only think of such obvious reasons as :
1. better error handling ( of course, you have total control over
      what you will do with silly syntactic or semantic errors - blow
      them out of the system....)
2. I'm told LEX and YACC produces a huge memory overhead as an
3. Good ole' pride ! You wrote this all on your own ???
4. ???

You can obviuosly tell I'm not into compiler techniques all that
much, you are right !! This project involves producing an SQL II
interpreter which will allow access into a database which was
entirely developed in-house. The db package comprises fortran
callable functions which allow restricted access into tightly kept
data. This SQL II interface will supposedly help provide an easier
path into data access.

I appreciate your answers, please send mail at :

== arthur@lgc.com == OR == arthur@uunet!lgc == OR == uunet!lgc!arthur
[It is my impression that the main reason that people don't use yacc is
that they don't understand how it works and feel that it's easier to hack
out yet another parser than to figure out LR parsing. (Not an opinion that
I share.) Lex on the other hand is indeed slow, huge, and buggy; I don't
use it. I do use flex which is none of those. -John]

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