Re: syntax complexity

Hans-Peter Diettrich <>
Thu, 16 Feb 2023 12:03:02 +0100

          From comp.compilers

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From: Hans-Peter Diettrich <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2023 12:03:02 +0100
Organization: Compilers Central
References: 23-02-045
Injection-Info:; posting-host=""; logging-data="49770"; mail-complaints-to=""
Keywords: syntax
Posted-Date: 16 Feb 2023 12:57:49 EST
In-Reply-To: 23-02-045

On 2/16/23 12:08 AM, gah4 wrote:
> I started this in another thread, but I think it deserves its own.
> The question is, how does one measure syntax complexity,

In the original thread I was missing more specific distinctions:
- tools: flex/bison, ANTLR, CoCo/R...
- parser types: LL, LR, LF, LALR...
- or(?): recursive-descent, shift-reduce...
- grammar syntax: BNF, EBNF...
- grammar types: context-free, -sensitive...

> with the
> specific case of Fortran vs. PL/I. (And ignoring syntax vs. semantics,
> for now.)

On that aspect I can not contribute anything, sorry :-(

> One complication I see, is that syntax complexity as seen by people,
> might be different from it as seen by programs.

How do programs recognize syntax complexity?
Number of rules and exceptions?


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