'Who wants LINUX tools (OT)'
Peter L. Peres
On Tue, 28 Jul 1998, Andy Kunz wrote:
> I got the A anyway. Nobody who tried yacc got anywhere significant. I was
> actually the only guy in the class of about 12 who actually had a compiler
> that worked.
pmfji: Yacc & Bison and assembly/state machine based/structured code are
two things that share only the fact that they are taught in CS courses.
Prolog belongs to the Yacc/Bison camp (together with Unix sendmail setup
files <g>) and Lisp is perched between the two.
Someone once explained me why the thinking required to write a Prolog
program and a Pascal program are totally different, but it all went out of
my head. Anyway, it is a fact.
So, Yacc, Bison, Prolog and some parts of List are simply a different way
of thinking, that solves certain kinds of problems very efficiently (among
them mail routing, AI, and recursive descent parsers). You can't expect to
be able to produce a good Prolog or Bison program because you know C and
assembly for 10 years.
I have found that taking an introductory book on Prolog and going through
the exercises should be a requirement before starting out with Bison on
something serious, such as a compiler ;)
>So, Yacc, Bison, Prolog and some parts of List are simply a different way
>of thinking, that solves certain kinds of problems very efficiently (among
>them mail routing, AI, and recursive descent parsers). You can't expect to
>be able to produce a good Prolog or Bison program because you know C and
>assembly for 10 years.
The compiler was for a procedural language (this was 15 years ago) roughly
a cross between BASIC and C. Initial version was to be an interpreter,
later to assembly source. I did them reverse, because it was easier for me
to think that way.
This was a senior-level class. We had already learned LISP, Prolog, and a
host of other languages at this point, and were each using 3+ operating
systems regularly (VMS, Unix (on an LSI box), OS/JCL for IBM 380(?), DOS,
and Apple DOS, TRS-DOS were the big ones).
Andy Kunz - Statistical Research, Inc. - Westfield, New Jersey USA
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