[antlr-interest] ANTLR v4 planning stages

Terence Parr parrt at antlr.org
Tue Jan 19 12:30:20 PST 2010

hiya. I'm now ready to embark on ANTLR (and ANTLRWorks) code development after 2 years in book-writing mode. I've come to the conclusion that we need to completely rebuild ANTLR v3, yielding v4. After I finish, I'll update The definitive ANTLR reference book for v4.

how this came about: I must reimplement ANTLR v3 in v3, just like I did recently for ST (yielding ST v4). Besides being untidy, important projects like eclipse cannot include ANTLR at the moment due to license restrictions on it's v2 dependency. After discussions with the other developers, I've come to the conclusion that it would be best to rewrite the tool itself from scratch.  I'm talking about the tool itself here.  The runtime should remain the same, although I hope to optimize the generated code quite a bit.

here is the planning page:


no doubt there will be bug fix releases for v3 as we go along.

While there was a huge discontinuity between v2 and v3, that was because of the completely new approach. v3 to v4 should be backward compatible or most grammars. The rest should only require a few tweaks. My goal is simply to reimplement existing functionality first and then consider a number of improvements (such as the cool new expression grammar notation). Consider v4.0 a giant re-factoring pass on the internals.


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