flex & bison
Text Processing Tools
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: August 2009
Pages: 292

If you need to parse or process text data in Linux or Unix, this useful book explains how to use flex and bison to solve your problems quickly. flex & bison is the long-awaited sequel to the classic O'Reilly book, lex & yacc. In the nearly two decades since the original book was published, the flex and bison utilities have proven to be more reliable and more powerful than the original Unix tools.

flex & bison covers the same core functionality vital to Linux and Unix program development, along with several important new topics. You'll find revised 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. With flex & bison, you'll discover the wide range of uses these flexible tools offer.

  • Address syntax crunching that regular expressions tools can't handle
  • Build compilers and interpreters, and handle a wide range of text processing functions
  • Interpret code, configuration files, or any other structured format
  • Learn key programming techniques, including abstract syntax trees and symbol tables
  • Implement a full SQL grammar-with complete sample code
  • Use new features such as pure (reentrant) lexers and parsers, powerful GLR parsers, and interfaces to C++
Table of Contents
Product Details
About the Author
Colophon
Recommended for You
Customer Reviews

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
oreillyflex & bison
 
2.8

(based on 4 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

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    (1)

50%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to understand (3)

Cons

  • Too many errors (3)

Best Uses

  • Novice (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Developer (4)

Reviewed by 4 customers

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5.0

Great book. Simple to understand.

By Doug Royer

from Boise, Idaho

About Me Developer

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Accurate
  • Concise
  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples
  • Well-written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Expert
    • Intermediate
    • Novice
    • Student

    Comments about oreilly flex & bison:

    This book provided me with exactly what I needed. Examples, information, and expert advice.

    I was writing some code to automate the process of selecting, inserting, and updating data in an SQL database. I started to write my own SQL parser, then I found this book.

    Some tweaks, some changes to make it work with the PostgreSQL database, I am making progress faster than expected.

    (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    2.0

    Useful just because no competition

    By Old Man

    from Fremont, CA

    About Me Developer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Comprehensive
    • Easy to understand
    • Well-written

    Cons

    • Too many errors

    Best Uses

    • Novice

    Comments about oreilly flex & bison:

    The book is somewhat useful for a beginner.
    However the link claiming to point to examples, points to the book page with no such info.
    Examples have errors and options that don't exist are mentioned. Exercises have no answers, looks like the author was in a hurry to finish, If the author and editors were more careful, it could be a great book. It is of limited value as is.

    (7 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

     
    1.0

    Purely Fiction.

    By angryParser

    from Paris, France

    About Me Developer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

      Cons

      • Difficult to understand
      • Not comprehensive enough
      • Too many errors

      Best Uses

        Comments about oreilly flex & bison:

        I didn't know that O'Reilly made Science Fiction books.

        First calculator example contain an awfull error. Some described options simply don't exist... (no idea of the flex and bison version used)

        If you don't know how to use flex and bison, don't buy this book.
        else it's just a waste of time to have a look at this book.

        (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

         
        3.0

        Useful, but with some serious failings

        By Joel Burton

        from San Francisco, California

        About Me Developer, Educator

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Concise
        • Easy to understand
        • Helpful examples

        Cons

        • Exercises unanswered
        • Too many errors

        Best Uses

        • Novice
        • Student

        Comments about oreilly flex & bison:

        Overall, this has been a helpful book for me in learning flex & bison.

        As usual with O'Reilly, it's attractive and well-edited. There's a useful index and glossary section.

        It expects you to be competent in C and makefiles, but does not assume significant experience with other tools. It covers the (tiny) differences needed to follow the examples on Windows, Linux, and OS X.

        There are two significant challenges, however:

        - there are several errors in the code, including a glaring error in the first serious example (the calculator). This error makes the example compile and run, but return incorrect results. It has been noted several times on the reported ("unconfirmed") errata page but, as this book has no author- or publisher-confirmed errata, it is not noted there. While a few typos are sadly to be expected in a technical work, it's troubling that such important and noticeable ones slipped through and annoying that no one has confirmed these errata.

        - the book has very interesting exercises but provides no answers (or even hints or pointers) to them. If you are reading this with a flex or bison expert nearby, this is not a problem, but for self-learners, this could be very frustrating.

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