[antlr-interest] frustrated with lexer

Terence Parr parrt at cs.usfca.edu
Sat Sep 6 12:09:39 PDT 2003

On Tuesday, September 2, 2003, at 10:59 AM, netminka at netscape.net wrote:
> The latest example:
> I sometimes need to scan ahead through the input and once I've
> determined the context or whatever, push back what I've scanned onto 
> the input stream. I DON'T NEED to push back everything but the first 
> character!
> Which seems to be the consume() default.
> How is this consume default changed? Example please!

override consume() ?

> Here is the specific situation:
>     | ("End" (' ' | '\t')+) => ENDCHECK
>     ;
> In the case that "End" followed by the above stuff is not recognized
> (e.g. the string 'EndTest') the lexer consumes the 'E' and I'm left 
> with
> 'ndTest'. Note my ENDCHECK and ENDEXIT are protected.

I am having trouble parsing your English sentences, but I'll take a 
stab at this.  Please try without the second syn pred; it is redundant. 
  If the first fails, it will go to the second.

You can also try good old left-factoring:


no fuss no muss.

> I also don't like
> the hoisting of rules in nextToken based on left hand side semantic 
> predicates; the effects are unpredictable and overly complex.

Really?  The rule is: "if there is a predicate on the left edge of a 
rule w/o an alternative, it uses that boolean test to turn the rule 
on/off."  You'll have to tell me what you don't understand so I can 
explain it better.

> The ordering
> of matching rules is overly complex and thus unpredictable as well.

Well, technically there is no ordering that matters if I can remember 
correctly.  I do any sorting by lookahead depth that is required.

Anyway, all that said, I agree that ANTLR's lexers are wacky.  I've got 
the solution (or the engine to the solution) built for ANTLR 3.  :)

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