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++
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Customer Reviews

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oreillyflex & bison
 
2.0

(based on 3 reviews)

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33%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

No Pros

Cons

  • Too many errors (3)

Best Uses

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    • Developer (3)

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(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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