Higher level parsing (Was: Dissillusioned...)

Steinar Bang sb at metis.no
Tue Oct 12 09:37:12 BST 1999

>>>>> Paul Prescod <paul at prescod.net>:

> Steinar Bang wrote:
>> We're replacing our old lisp-oid format, parsed with a PCCTS recursive
>> descent parser, with XML, based on a C++ SAX wrapper over expat.
>> And the handwritten state machine logic of the DocumentHandler feels
>> like a step back from the EBNF specification of our old format.

> If this is a problem then why are you using an event-handler based
> tool instead of a tree tool?

Because I'm using the xml to build up memory data structures, and I
would like to avoid creating big temporary data structures.

> Or if you would prefer something in-between, what do you have in
> mind?

What I've been thinking, is that much of the state-machine logic I'm
writing could be machine generated from some sort of description.

A DTD could provide the bit of the logic that deals with document
syntax checking, but there isn't any way to associate semantic actions 
with the DTD element definitions.

Besides semantic actions for sub-elements may be different based on
what parent it has.

Maybe something like the XSL queries, combined with semantic actions
in a different namespace...?

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