blob: 978b5c6f4d45fb3664a39e00cd06ec41051e5181 [file] [log] [blame]
* Short term
** Graphviz display code thoughts
The code for the --graph option is over two files: print_graph, and
graphviz. I believe this is because Bison used to also produce VCG graphs,
but since this is no longer true, maybe we could consider these files for
Little effort factoring seems to have been given to factoring in these files,
and their print-xml and print counterpart. We would very much like to re-use
the pretty format of states from .output in the .dot
Also, the underscore in print_graph.[ch] isn't very fitting considering
the dashes in the other filenames.
** Variable names.
What should we name `variant' and `lex_symbol'?
** Use b4_symbol in all the skeleton
Move its definition in the more standard places and deploy it in other
skeletons. Then remove the older system, including the tables
generated by output.c
** Update the documentation on
** Get rid of fake #lines [Bison: ...]
Possibly as simple as checking whether the column number is nonnegative.
I have seen messages like the following from GCC.
<built-in>:0: fatal error: opening dependency file .deps/libltdl/argz.Tpo: No such file or directory
** Discuss about %printer/%destroy in the case of C++.
It would be very nice to provide the symbol classes with an operator<<
and a destructor. Unfortunately the syntax we have chosen for
%destroy and %printer make them hard to reuse. For instance, the user
is invited to write something like
%printer { debug_stream() << $$; } <my_type>;
which is hard to reuse elsewhere since it wants to use
"debug_stream()" to find the stream to use. The same applies to
%destroy: we told the user she could use the members of the Parser
class in the printers/destructors, which is not good for an operator<<
since it is no longer bound to a particular parser, it's just a
(standalone symbol).
** Rename
as, why upper case?
** bench several bisons.
Enhance with %b to run different bisons.
* Various
** Warnings
Warnings about type tags that are used in printer and dtors, but not
for symbols?
Defined to 256, but not used, not documented. Probably the token
number for the error token, which POSIX wants to be 256, but which
Bison might renumber if the user used number 256. Keep fix and doc?
Throw away?
Also, why don't we output the token name of the error token in the
output? It is explicitly skipped:
/* Skip error token and tokens without identifier. */
if (sym != errtoken && id)
Of course there are issues with name spaces, but if we disable we have
something which seems to be more simpler and more consistent instead
of the special case YYERRCODE.
enum yytokentype {
error = 256,
// ...
We could (should?) also treat the case of the undef_token, which is
numbered 257 for yylex, and 2 internal. Both appear for instance in
const unsigned short int
parser::yytoken_number_[] =
0, 256, 257, 258, 259, 260, 261, 262, 263, 264,
while here
enum yytokentype {
TOK_EOF = 0,
TOK_EQ = 258,
so both 256 and 257 are "mysterious".
const char*
const parser::yytname_[] =
"\"end of command\"", "error", "$undefined", "\"=\"", "\"break\"",
It is seems to be *really* obsolete now, shall we remove it?
** yychar == yyempty_
The code in yyerrlab reads:
if (yychar <= YYEOF)
/* Return failure if at end of input. */
if (yychar == YYEOF)
There are only two yychar that can be <= YYEOF: YYEMPTY and YYEOF.
But I can't produce the situation where yychar is YYEMPTY here, is it
really possible? The test suite does not exercise this case.
This shows that it would be interesting to manage to install skeleton
coverage analysis to the test suite.
** Table definitions
It should be very easy to factor the definition of the various tables,
including the separation bw declaration and definition. See for
instance b4_table_define in This way, we could even factor
C vs. C++ definitions.
* From to yacc.c
** Single stack
Merging the three stacks in simplified the code, prompted for
other improvements and also made it faster (probably because memory
management is performed once instead of three times). I suggest that
we do the same in yacc.c.
** yysyntax_error
The code bw glr.c and yacc.c is really alike, we can certainly factor
some parts.
* Report
** Figures
Some statistics about the grammar and the parser would be useful,
especially when asking the user to send some information about the
grammars she is working on. We should probably also include some
information about the variables (I'm not sure for instance we even
specify what LR variant was used).
** GLR
How would Paul like to display the conflicted actions? In particular,
what when two reductions are possible on a given lookahead token, but one is
part of $default. Should we make the two reductions explicit, or just
keep $default? See the following point.
** Disabled Reductions
See `tests/ (Defaulted Conflicted Reduction)', and decide
what we want to do.
** Documentation
Extend with error productions. The hard part will probably be finding
the right rule so that a single state does not exhibit too many yet
undocumented ``features''. Maybe an empty action ought to be
presented too. Shall we try to make a single grammar with all these
features, or should we have several very small grammars?
** --report=conflict-path
Provide better assistance for understanding the conflicts by providing
a sample text exhibiting the (LALR) ambiguity. See the paper from
DeRemer and Penello: they already provide the algorithm.
** Statically check for potential ambiguities in GLR grammars. See
<> for an approach.
* Extensions
** $-1
We should find a means to provide an access to values deep in the
stack. For instance, instead of
baz: qux { $$ = $<foo>-1 + $<bar>0 + $1; }
we should be able to have:
foo($foo) bar($bar) baz($bar): qux($qux) { $baz = $foo + $bar + $qux; }
Or something like this.
** %if and the like
It should be possible to have %if/%else/%endif. The implementation is
not clear: should it be lexical or syntactic. Vadim Maslow thinks it
must be in the scanner: we must not parse what is in a switched off
part of %if. Akim Demaille thinks it should be in the parser, so as
to avoid falling into another CPP mistake.
** XML Output
There are couple of available extensions of Bison targeting some XML
output. Some day we should consider including them. One issue is
that they seem to be quite orthogonal to the parsing technique, and
seem to depend mostly on the possibility to have some code triggered
for each reduction. As a matter of fact, such hooks could also be
used to generate the yydebug traces. Some generic scheme probably
exists in there.
XML output for GNU Bison and gcc
XML output for GNU Bison
* Unit rules
Maybe we could expand unit rules, i.e., transform
exp: arith | bool;
arith: exp '+' exp;
bool: exp '&' exp;
exp: exp '+' exp | exp '&' exp;
when there are no actions. This can significantly speed up some
grammars. I can't find the papers. In particular the book `LR
parsing: Theory and Practice' is impossible to find, but according to
`Parsing Techniques: a Practical Guide', it includes information about
this issue. Does anybody have it?
* Documentation
** History/Bibliography
Some history of Bison and some bibliography would be most welcome.
Are there any Texinfo standards for bibliography?
* Coding system independence
Paul notes:
Currently Bison assumes 8-bit bytes (i.e. that UCHAR_MAX is
255). It also assumes that the 8-bit character encoding is
the same for the invocation of 'bison' as it is for the
invocation of 'cc', but this is not necessarily true when
people run bison on an ASCII host and then use cc on an EBCDIC
host. I don't think these topics are worth our time
addressing (unless we find a gung-ho volunteer for EBCDIC or
PDP-10 ports :-) but they should probably be documented
More importantly, Bison does not currently allow NUL bytes in
tokens, either via escapes (e.g., "x\0y") or via a NUL byte in
the source code. This should get fixed.
* --graph
Show reductions.
* Broken options ?
** %token-table
** Skeleton strategy
Must we keep %token-table?
* Precedence
** Partial order
It is unfortunate that there is a total order for precedence. It
makes it impossible to have modular precedence information. We should
move to partial orders (sounds like series/parallel orders to me).
** RR conflicts
See if we can use precedence between rules to solve RR conflicts. See
what POSIX says.
* $undefined
From Hans:
- If the Bison generated parser experiences an undefined number in the
character range, that character is written out in diagnostic messages, an
addition to the $undefined value.
Suggest: Change the name $undefined to undefined; looks better in outputs.
* Default Action
From Hans:
- For use with my C++ parser, I transported the "switch (yyn)" statement
that Bison writes to the bison.simple skeleton file. This way, I can remove
the current default rule $$ = $1 implementation, which causes a double
assignment to $$ which may not be OK under C++, replacing it with a
"default:" part within the switch statement.
Note that the default rule $$ = $1, when typed, is perfectly OK under C,
but in the C++ implementation I made, this rule is different from
$<type_name>$ = $<type_name>1. I therefore think that one should implement
a Bison option where every typed default rule is explicitly written out
(same typed ruled can of course be grouped together).
* Pre and post actions.
From: Florian Krohm <>
X-Sent: 1 week, 4 days, 14 hours, 38 minutes, 11 seconds ago
The other day I had the need for explicitly building the parse tree. I
used %locations for that and defined YYLLOC_DEFAULT to call a function
that returns the tree node for the production. Easy. But I also needed
to assign the S-attribute to the tree node. That cannot be done in
YYLLOC_DEFAULT, because it is invoked before the action is executed.
The way I solved this was to define a macro YYACT_EPILOGUE that would
be invoked after the action. For reasons of symmetry I also added
YYACT_PROLOGUE. Although I had no use for that I can envision how it
might come in handy for debugging purposes.
All is needed is to add
YYACT_EPILOGUE (yyval, (yyvsp - yylen), yylen, yyloc, (yylsp - yylen));
YYACT_EPILOGUE (yyval, (yyvsp - yylen), yylen);
at the proper place to bison.simple. Ditto for YYACT_PROLOGUE.
I was wondering what you think about adding YYACT_PROLOGUE/EPILOGUE
to bison. If you're interested, I'll work on a patch.
* Better graphics
Equip the parser with a means to create the (visual) parse tree.
* Complaint submessage indentation.
We already have an implementation that works fairly well for named
reference messages, but it would be nice to use it consistently for all
submessages from Bison. For example, the "previous definition"
submessage or the list of correct values for a %define variable might
look better with indentation.
However, the current implementation makes the assumption that the
location printed on the first line is not usually much shorter than the
locations printed on the submessage lines that follow. That assumption
may not hold true as often for some kinds of submessages especially if
we ever support multiple grammar files.
Here's a proposal for how a new implementation might look:
Local Variables:
mode: outline
coding: utf-8
Copyright (C) 2001-2004, 2006, 2008-2012 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
This file is part of Bison, the GNU Compiler Compiler.
This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
GNU General Public License for more details.
You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program. If not, see <>.