Re: syntax complexity

George Neuner <>
Mon, 20 Feb 2023 13:49:19 -0500

          From comp.compilers

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From: George Neuner <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: Mon, 20 Feb 2023 13:49:19 -0500
Organization: A noiseless patient Spider
References: 23-02-045 23-02-047 23-02-050 <29156_1676600565_63EEE4F4_29156_1009_1_23-02-051@comp.compilers> 23-02-052
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Keywords: syntax, design
Posted-Date: 21 Feb 2023 00:51:17 EST

On Mon, 20 Feb 2023 15:09:18 +0000, Roger L Costello
<> wrote:

>Hello Compiler Experts!
>Scenario: you have a language that has a BNF. You write a statement in
>the language. It is a relatively simple, basic statement. The
>statement conforms to the BNF. To show its conformance, you write the
>derivation of the statement. Surprisingly, deriving the statement
>takes many, many rules. Does that signify that the language's syntax
>is too complex?

Not necessarily.

What makes a language complicated (not "complex") is ambiguity, not
the number of grammar rules needed to recognize some particular

If you are restricted to BNF ... i.e. your tool does not allow
specifying precedence ... then recognizing even relatively simple
arithmetic expressions can (perhaps recursively) involve several


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