"Aaron Koolen" <akoolen@ihug.co.nz>
10 Oct 1997 22:08:48 -0400

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YACC?? LEX?? akoolen@ihug.co.nz (Aaron Koolen) (1997-10-10)
Re: YACC?? LEX?? smecucci@mbox.thunder.it (Silvio Mecucci) (1997-10-14)
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From: "Aaron Koolen" <akoolen@ihug.co.nz>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 10 Oct 1997 22:08:48 -0400
Organization: The Internet Group Ltd
Keywords: lex, yacc, parse

Hi all. I've several language parsers (of various quality :-) ) at
various times over tha last number of years. Usually not full scale or
complete compilers and the like but now I am in need of one, and am
debating whether to write it by hand or learn to use Yacc and lex?
I've had a brief look at some yacc docs and sample programs and they
look rather complex and I dont know if the time to learn them would be
longer and the work involved more, as opposed to doing it by hand. So
what I really want to know I suppose is - Does yacc and lex really
help? What are there real advantages. If I learnt them, would
producing other parsers/compilers etc in the future be a breeze?
Thanks a lot.

[Once you learn a little yacc, it really is pretty easy to use for
what it does, and it has the advantage over a hand-coded parser that
you can be confident that you're parsing the language you think you
are. The tradeoffs with lex aren't quite as simple, but with flex
it's still usually worthwhile. Those two tools are now 25 years old,
so you might also want to look at newer and more powerful ones. -John]


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