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Jan
21

Flex & Bison book review

by Richard Ibbotson

To some people the idea of parsing text data in GNU/Linux or UNIX might not sound like a worthwhile way of doing things. However, this is the kind of administrational task that a lot of system administrators and programmers perform every day of the week. Flex and Bison have proven to be more reliable and more powerful than the original UNIX tools…

flexandbison bookDetails:
Price:
£22.99
Author:
John Levine
Publisher:
O’Reilly
ISBN:
978-0596155971

To some people the idea of parsing text data in GNU/Linux or UNIX might not sound like a worthwhile way of doing things. However, this is the kind of administrational task that a lot of system administrators and programmers perform every day of the week. Flex and Bison have proven to be more reliable and more powerful than the original UNIX tools.

An introduction to Flex and Bison gives an overview of how and why they are used to create compilers and interpreters, and demonstrates some simple applications including a calculator built in Flex and Bison – a good start to this volume, always useful for people who know nothing. Using Flex follows along with Bison. Parsing SQL is an invaluable part of the book.

The majority of the book is taken up with a reference for Flex specifications and also for Bison specifications, followed by ambiguities and conflicts. You will find some tutorials for novices and references for advanced users as well as an explanation of each utility’s basic usage and simple standalone applications you can create with them. Some advanced topics finish off what is a useful reference for people who want to know about the subject. The author of Flex & Bison is John Levine who is the founder of Taughannock Networks. He has written more than 20 technical books. This one is well worth getting hold of to learn more about the subject in 270 pages.
Richard Ibbotson

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