[antlr-interest] Constructing trees and building forests...
parrt at cs.usfca.edu
Thu Jul 29 11:24:26 PDT 2004
On Jul 28, 2004, at 10:43 PM, iank at bearcave.com wrote:
> Thanks for the reply.
> I know that I'm in a minority here, but to me the power of ANTLR is
> mainly in parser generation, not tree construction. My views are
> biased by the fact that most of the parsers I've worked on are for
> languages like C, Fortran 90, Verilog or VHDL. In my opinion when
> you are constructing trees for complex languages, you want to create
> you own trees. So I have been largely uninterested in ANTLR's
> automatic tree construction.
I can understand that for sure. I usually do a mix since some stuff is
easy and the AST suffix operators work great.
> This said, my two cents is for an easy to use, easy to understand,
> robust parser generator that makes creating parsers for complex
> languages as easy as possible. Rather than trees I'd rather have
> something that makes it easy to understand why the parser generator
> does not like my grammar.
Yes, i'm working hard on that in my head. First step was to simply
reduce the number of grammars that ANTLR couldn't handle; enter
LL(star). Unfortunately, when you do get an error it's harder to say
how/why/where as the input could be arbitrarily long! I'm thinking
that I will build up a list of objects with all the info and then
people can change the reporting behavior with a simple mechanism (just
walk the list and do something else). I suspect that an IDE will be
really important here. I would like to highlight the paths that are
> From my point of view, trees are secondary. Building trees is not
> that hard. Writing parsers by hand is. So the "juice" provided by
> ANTLR is that it helps with the most difficult part of parser
The core engine will most definitely focus on this. Anything else
could perhaps be a "plugin" :)
> Of course it's easy for me to say... Terence, Loring and others are
> doing all the work. Those who write the code get to call the
> shots. And, as always, I deeply appreciate the work that has gone
> into ANTLR.
Thanks, as always, for your support, Ian. :)
CS Professor & Grad Director, University of San Francisco
Creator, ANTLR Parser Generator, http://www.antlr.org
Cofounder, http://www.knowspam.net enjoy email again!
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