Re: SLR parse table question (Torben AEgidius Mogensen)
14 Nov 1997 11:43:42 -0500

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SLR parse table question (Michael Mstowski) (1997-11-13)
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From: (Torben AEgidius Mogensen)
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 14 Nov 1997 11:43:42 -0500
Organization: Department of Computer Science, U of Copenhagen
References: 97-11-073
Keywords: parse

Michael Mstowski <> writes:

>I'm trying to understand how to construct a SLR parse table and am
>having difficulty building the canonical set of items. The dragon
>book shows an algorithm, then magically generates the entire canonical
>set. I don't know how the I(n) items are generated from I(1) and
>can't determine how the 'dot' is placed. I know how to find the
>closure, but after that, things get a bit fuzzy.

You can try looking in Andrew Appel's "Modern Compiler Implementation
in [ML/C/Java]" (these are three similar books, only differing in the
language used for examples). I find the explanation of SLR
construction much more readable than in the Dragon Book. One reason
for this is that it much more clearly separates _what_ you have to do
from _how_ you do it. That said, the Dragon books has a lot more
detail about things like table compression etc, which may be
interesting when you actually have to write a compiler for a language
with a large syntax (e.g. Cobol). These subjects are, however, fairly
unimportant for an intuitive understanding of the algorithms.

Torben Mogensen (

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