Re: [dev] Lexers and parsers

From: Maurício <>
Date: Thu, 20 Aug 2009 12:31:38 -0300

(1/2 - I believe these messages didn't went to
the list. Sorry if they actually did.)

>> I've always been a fan of using the unix text input and output
>> to connect simple tools to achieve complex results, but I think
>> there's a missing piece in the tool set: parsers.

> There are *many* ways you could begin solving the parser void.
> However, given that there are so many choices, it would help a
> lot if you had a specific problem in mind.

I need help selecting that problem. If I could write something
that could be used to digest input to a prototype natural language
parser and analyser, that could be a goal, but I don't know how
feasible that is.

If it helps narrow the circle, I think a parser that can handle
complex input would be better than a fast parser. If one had a
complicated input to which a structure is unknown, I would like my
tool to be a nice help in testing structures to see if they fit
and where they don't, maybe with given amount of processing limit.

> Lex filters using regexes which is a subset of the patterns yacc
> can process. If regexes are all that you need then take a close
> look at awk.

I learned about awk already. I would like to make something
that complements it. Maybe a tool to change complex input into
something we could deal with in awk.

> For more generic parsing than regex it may be
> a good idea to look into parser combinators.

I know this 'parsec' library from Haskell:

But it seemed to me that when dealing with complicated problems
the power comes a lot from Haskell itself. I would like to write
something one could use only by knowing how to use shell tools.

I did find a lot on wikipedia, like a Chomsky classification
of grammars and LL x LR parsers, and alternatives of notation
for grammars. But I could not grasp what could I use, I have no
experience with that to do any informed choice.

One way to go would be to choose some paper that exposes some
cool idea on parsing and implement what it describes. With a well
chosen paper this could result in a tool with clear applicability
and limits.

Received on Thu Aug 20 2009 - 15:31:38 UTC

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