Compiler "Phonics"

"Alex K. Angelopoulos" <>
24 Feb 2003 13:50:37 -0500

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Related articles
Compiler "Phonics" (Alex K. Angelopoulos) (2003-02-24)
Re: Compiler "Phonics" (2003-03-09)
Re: Compiler "Phonics" (Joachim Durchholz) (2003-03-09)
Re: Compiler "Phonics" (2003-03-09)
Re: Compiler "Phonics" (Alex K. Angelopoulos) (2003-03-09)
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From: "Alex K. Angelopoulos" <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 24 Feb 2003 13:50:37 -0500
Organization: Compilers Central
Keywords: practice
Posted-Date: 24 Feb 2003 13:50:36 EST

Off-the-wall question of the day... ;)

How do people say the relationship in BNF grammar rules?

e.g., how would one pronounce '::=' when used as a rule relationship, like this:

        IntegralLiteralValue ::= IntLiteral | HexLiteral | OctalLiteral

Since at this point my pride is irretrievably lost and everyone knows
my closest involvement with the dragon book (*) in college was that I
one bought a textbook in the same aisle, let's go for broke:

+ What are the simple, formal names (if any) used for the relationship
operators in BNF notation like this?

What's a little disorienting is I am now becoming "aware" of the
significant variations in specific BNF implementations, and see
variant notations for character sets and terminal definitions.
Technically these are rules as well, but they are very specific types
of rules.

+ What's the best on-line source for getting an understanding of the concepts
behind BNF?

This is said poorly, but I'm seeing "BNFish" stuff everywhere I look
now (if it isn't there already, I can see ways to describe it with
BNF). Unfortunately, most of the refs I can find either do armwaving
and go on, or dive right into particular rulesets using a particular
notation which they never formalize (and which of course varies from
the next "diver" I find). I'm most interested in learning what I need
to know to correctly sight-read BNF rules written by various people.

+ Finally - I keep seeing Naur's name mangled into "Noir". Did
someone make this into an 'in' joke, or am I misreading overeager
spellchecking? :)

  (*) Still don't have it. I should have bought it instead of my grad text on
Thermal Physics - it would have been just as relevant to the actual course and
would also have made lighter reading.
(Probably would have been cheaper, too).

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