Re: Runtime syntax (Nick Maclaren)
29 Dec 2004 01:39:44 -0500

          From comp.compilers

Related articles
Runtime syntax (Dhruva Krishnamurthy) (2004-12-25)
Re: Runtime syntax (Dmitry A. Kazakov) (2004-12-29)
Re: Runtime syntax (2004-12-29)
Runtime Syntax (2004-12-29)
| List of all articles for this month |

From: (Nick Maclaren)
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 29 Dec 2004 01:39:44 -0500
Organization: University of Cambridge, England
References: 04-12-119
Keywords: parse
Posted-Date: 29 Dec 2004 01:39:44 EST

Dhruva Krishnamurthy <> wrote:
>[There was a lot of work on extensible compilers that could
>extend the grammar on the fly in the 1970s. It's not hard to
>do, but it turns out not to be very useful. -John]

My belief is that is because the languages were targetted at areas for
which it was inappropriate. Round about then, I was thinking about
really advanced statistical packages, and that is one area where
allowing customisable extension could be very useful. Note that is
specifically for complex constants and data structures, so that it
would be possible to input them in a reasonably natural, checkable

Another area is that of checked command languages (shells, editors
etc.) Most of the work there missed the point that convenience is
critical, and the proposals were too painful to use. Most of the
successful shells etc. have missed the point that checkability is
essential if reliability is a major target - but that viewpoint is so
out of fashion as to be heresy.

But I agree that it is only superficially attractive for conventional
programming languages - i.e. the actual time wasted by not having it
is almost invariably negligible.

Nick Maclaren.

Post a followup to this message

Return to the comp.compilers page.
Search the comp.compilers archives again.