Re: Syntax of SmallTalk

Tim Olson <>
25 Dec 2004 20:17:04 -0500

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From: Tim Olson <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 25 Dec 2004 20:17:04 -0500
Organization: Compilers Central
References: 04-12-110
Keywords: smalltalk, parse
Posted-Date: 25 Dec 2004 20:17:04 EST

Klaas-Jan Stol <> wrote:

| I'm looking for a *complete* grammar for SmallTalk. I've searched quite
| a bit, but haven't been able to find anything. There doesn't seem to be
| a SmallTalk grammar available. I'd like to create a SmallTalk port to
| another VM. For that, I'd like the grammar in Yacc format, but any other
| would be great, too.

Perhaps you found it, but thought it wasn't complete because it was
too small! Smalltalk syntax is incredibly simple (Forth is the only
language I know which has a simpler syntax).

The BNF for Smalltalk can be found in the draft ANSI Smalltalk Standard
document; here's one reference:


[Note that there is an additional "file-out" syntax used to represent
Smalltalk in external text files, but that varies slightly between the
various implementations]

      -- Tim Olson
[I think it's like Lisp in that the basic language is so low level that
it's easy to parse, but you can't tell much about the program after
you've done so. For usful analysis you need to know what a lot of the
standard operators do. -John]

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