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Bison Manual: Using the YACC-compatible Parser Generator

by Charles Donnelly & Richard M. Stallman

Bison Manual book cover image
136 Pages.
Cover Price: $25.00
September 2003, for Bison Version 1.875
ISBN 1-882114-23-X
Trade Paper, Perfect Binding
On-line version
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This updated edition for Bison version 1.875 has an expanded 'Concepts' and 'Grammar Files' sections, and a greatly expanded 'Debugging Your Parser' section. There is also a new FAQ section added to the appendix. Some obsolete material was removed as well.

Bison is a general-purpose parser generator that can help the C programmer develop a wide range of language parsers, from those used in simple desktop calculators to complex programming languages. The Bison manual provides a quick overview of the theory behind context-free grammars and semantic values. It has both an introductory tutorial section with examples and a reference section which explores parts of Bison in detail.

This book teaches you:

  • Basic concepts of context-free grammars
  • Basic concepts of semantic values and actions
  • Bison grammar rules and syntax
  • Stages in writing and running Bison grammars
  • C-Language interface to the parser function yyparse()
  • How to parse more than one language in the same program
  • How to detect when an operation for a new node type was not implemented
  • How to ensure that a new operation covers all existing node types adequately
  • The Lexical Analyzer Function yylex()
  • Writing rules for error recovery and yyerror()
  • And how to apply the GNU General Public License to your new program.
This book assumes the reader already knows the C Programming Language.

This manual provides a quick overview of parser generator theory, context-free grammars and semantic values. The introductory tutorial section explains the basic concepts of using Bison and shows three examples, each building on the last. If you don't know Bison or Yacc, start by reading these chapters. The following reference sections explain in greater detail and also cover other supporting programs such as yyparse(), yylex(), and yyerror(). A glossary and symbol table are also included.

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Updated: $Date: 2006/05/01 10:04:13 $ $Author: ramprasadb $