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23 Feb 2010, 17:17
John McKown (11 posts)

I’m considering this book, or maybe the Language Implementation Patterns one, in order to write a program which can parse and perhaps even interpret a very old “control” language. This language dates from the 1960s and is still in use and being enhanced. But in a very “ad hoc” way. Which has made it very difficult for me to write a parser for it. I have gotten about 90% success using Bison and Flex. I am curious about Antlr, and this archaic language is my “test case” as it is a real PITA to parse. It is somewhat column oriented, with certain things needing to start in specific columns (like labels in column 3 because columns 1-2 are always //, continuation indicated by a non-blank in column 72. Columns beyond 72 are ignored. and so on).

I am used to reading things which are similar to “Language Reference” manuals with examples. I have read the Groovy, Scala, and Clojure books from this site and feel that I’ve learned a lot from them. Could this book be considered a “reference manual with comments”?


24 Feb 2010, 16:37
Terence Parr (41 posts)

Hi John, well, it’s a ref manual with comments and examples and discussion :) I hope it helps! Terence

24 Feb 2010, 17:52
John McKown (11 posts)

Thanks. I just couldn’t resist, so I just now bought (and downloaded) Language Implementation Patterns. I may end up getting this one as well. I chose the other simply because it is more recent. I’ll see how I like Antlr compared to Flex & Bison. I prefer Java to C, in general.

25 Feb 2010, 18:25
John McKown (11 posts)

Well, I went ahead and purchased (and downloaded) this book too. Why not? I really like the fact that I can get softcopy. I put it on my KindleDX and take it (along with about 170 other books) around with me. Makes waiting in the doctors’ offices worth while.

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