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This is the file NEWS for the flex package. It records user -visible
changes between releases of flex.
See the file COPYING for copying conditions.
* version 2.5.38
** internationalization
*** add sr translation from the translation project
*** update da, es, ko, nl, pt_BR, ro, ru, sv, tr, vi, zh_CN translations from the translation project
*** rename zh_tw to its proper zh_TW name
* version 2.5.37 released 2012-08-03
** Import flex into git. See
** Fix make install target to not fail when the flex++ program is
already installed
** New translations from the translation project: de, fi, pl, vi
* version 2.5.36 released 2012-07-20
** various portability fixes that quiet compiler warnings on 64-bit
** various manual fixes, including correcting the name of a %option and
updating some simple examples to use ANSI C syntax
** various bug fixes that prevent certain error conditions from
persisting when they should not persist
** improvements to the test suite so it behaves better when linking
compiled files
** new translations from the translation project: ca, da, es, fi, fr,
ga, ko, pt_br, ro, ru, sv, tr, zh_cn
** the flex distribution is now built with automake 1.10.1 and automake
* version 2.5.35 released 2008-02-26
** fixed bug that prevented flex from accepting certain comments in the
scanner file (resolves bugs #1849809 and #1849805)
** fix bug that prevented headers for all functions from being generated
(resolves bug #1628314)
** change yy_size_t to be size_t (resolves bug #1849812)
** new de, nl, pl, pt_br, vi translations from the translation project
* version 2.5.34 released 2007-12-12
** introduce yylex_init_extra; see the manual for details
** introduce %option extra-type="your_type *" (resolves bug #1744505)
** The flex program now parses multiple short concatenated options (resolves bug
#1619820). Thanks to Petr Machata of Red Hat on this issue.
** better checking after yyalloc/yyrealloc (resolves bug #1595967)
** flex now provides for a libfl_pic.a compiled with position
independent code. Particularly useful when including a flex scanner
in a shared library and with more recent versions of gcc. Thanks to the Debian project for the idea.
** SourceForge feature request #1658379: Expose YY_BUF_SIZE in the
header file.
** flex better escapes filenames with special characters in them
(resolves bug #1623600)
** a memory leak was plugged(resolves bug #1601111)
** pattern language expanded; see the manual for details on the below
*** pattern options added to specify patterns as case-insensitive or
*** pattern options to specify whether the "." character should match
the newline character
*** pattern options added to allow ignoring of whitespace in patterns
*** POSIX character classes may be negated in patterns
*** patterns may now use set difference, union operators
** the manual now contains an appendix listing various common patterns
which may be useful when writing scanners
** some memory leaks were removed from the C++ scanner (but the C++
scanner is still experimental and may change radically without
** c++ scanners can now use yywrap
** added new unit test for c++ and yywrap
** portability fixes to some unit tests
** flex man page and flex manual in pdf now distributed in the flex
** new ca, vi, ga, nl translations from the translation project
** flex no longer comes with an rpm spec file
** flex development now happens with automake 1.9.6
* version 2.5.33 released 2006-2-20
** all flex resources are now to be found from the website at
** there was no release 2.5.32 published
** numerous bug and security fixes
** new nl, vi, sv, ro, po, ga, ca, fr, tr translations from the translation project
** upgrade to use gettext 0.12 (this now makes the "pdf" and "ps"
targets in the build system able to be run successfully)
* version 2.5.31 released 2003-4-1
** remove --enable-maintainer-mode configure option; none of the
Makefiles were using it and it can be unduely confusing
* version 2.5.30 released 2003-4-1
** yylineno is per-buffer in reentrant scanners
** added %top directive for placing code at the top of the generated
scanner; see manual for details
** flex now uses m4 to generate scanners; while this means that
scanners are more readable, it means that flex requires m4 to be
installed; see manual for details
* version 2.5.29 released 2003-3-5
** Automatic stack management for multiple input buffers in C and C++ scanners
** moved the flex documentation to a new doc/ subdirectory
** cleanups to the yy namespace
* version 2.5.28 released 2003-2-12
** flex is now hosted at sourceforge
** Fixed trailing slash bug in YY_INPUT macro def
** Flex now warns if always-interactive is specified with fast or full
* version 2.5.27 released 2003-1-21
** flex now works with recent bison versions
** new pt_br translation from the translation project
* version 2.5.26 released 2003-1-14
** Fixed table deserialization bug on big-endian archs. Patch sent from Bryce Nichols <>
** yyleng has proper declarations now; this caused flex to generate
unusable scanners for some programs
** the flex distribution now includes a spec file suitable for use
with rpm
** some more c++ fixes
** new es translation from the translation project
** slight tweeks to the flex_int*_t types
** flex now warns about pattern ranges that might be ambiguous when
generating a case-insensitive scanner
* version 2.5.25 released 2002-12-2
** flex now uses flex_int*_t types. For C99 systems, they are just the
int*_t types; for non-C99 systems, we just make some typedefs
** new pt_br translation from the translation project
* version 2.5.24 released 2002-11-25
* more portability fixes
** the manual continues to be updated and edited, but it's still got a
ways to go
** it is possible to have multiple c++ scanners in the same program again
** new turkish translation from the translation project
* version 2.5.23 released 2002-10-21
** more portability fixes
** the manual includes a title page and a table-of-contents when printed
** the test suite can be run with "make check" from the top-level
** configure now accepts the --enable-maintainer-mode option
** gettext functionality is now only available externally
** the constant FLEX_BETA is defined if flex is a beta release
** the script create-test was not included in the distribution and it
should have been
* version 2.5.22 released 2002-10-10
** more portability fixes around how we get ahold of the integral
types; there is a constant FLEX_NEED_INTEGRAL_TYPE_DEFINITIONS
which you should define if you don't have the <inttypes.h> header
file (after you complain to your C vendor for not providing a
reasonable C environment)
** more test suite cleanups; in particular, the test suite should run
correctly when build from a different directory
** upgraded automake to 1.7 and consequently autoconf to 2.54; this
means, among other things, that there is some support for
formatting the manual in postscript and pdf in the distributed (and therefore in the Makefile built by configure)
** the flex.1 manpage is generated by help2man; (this has been true
for quite a while but was not listed here)
** flex now includes three defined constants to indicate which version
of flex generated a scanner (YY_FLEX_{MAJOR,MINOR,SUBMINOR}_VERSION)
** flex tries its best to output only the relevant portions of the
skeleton when generating a scanner, thus avoiding as much
conditional compilation as possible
* version 2.5.21 released 2002-9-17
** one of the tests in the test suite broke the dist target
* version 2.5.20 released 2002-9-16
** A flex scanner has the ability to save the DFA tables to a file,
and load them at runtime when needed; see the manual for details
** Added %option bison-bridge (--bison-bridge)
** Removed %option reentrant-bison/--reentrant-bison/-Rb
** yylineno is present in all scanners; Modified nasty performance
penalty warning with yylineno in documentation
** test-table-opts is now run last in the test suite because it's so fat
** flex can, to some extent, diagnose where internal problems occur
** new translations from the translation project: fr, ca, de, ru, sv
**Flex generates C99 defs now; see YY_TRADITIONAL_FUNC_DEFS in the
manual if that's not a good thing for you
* version 2.5.19 released 2002-9-5
** prevent segfault on input lines which are longer than the allocated
space (problem report from Manoj Srivastava
** Changed option 'header' to 'header-file'
* version 2.5.18 released 2002-9-4
** portability fixes for integer constants and in the way the test
suite reports its results
** the test for bison was reporting bison missing when it was, in
fact, found
** if we don't find GNU indent, we're more careful when we're not
finding it
* version 2.5.17 released 2002-8-29
** more portability fixes
** updated config.sub and config.guess
** flex is indented by GNU indent (this was done earlier but not
explicitly documented)
* version 2.5.16 released 2002-8-28
** c++ scanners compile again
** there is now an indent target in the top-level Makefile; configure
checks for GNU indent which is required for proper operation of the
indent target
** some more portability fixes were made
** %options and invocation sections of manual merged
** a c++ test was added to the test suite
** we're trying to clean up more files in the test suite's make clean
* version 2.5.15 released 2002-8-21
** reject-state buffer is now dynamically allocated and REJECT buffer
variables are reentrant-safe
** manual now discusses memory usage
** skeleton now processed by m4 before; (this only matters
if you want to change the skeleton or if you're doing flex development)
** zh_cn translation added from translation project
** a bug that caused a segfault has now been fixed
** the test suite now respects the usual CFLAGS, etc. variables
** removed some warnings which some tests trigggered with the -s option
** the flex-generated header file now tries to be smarter about
conditionally including start conditions
** tables code omitted from generated scanner when not used
* version 2.5.14 released 2002-8-15
** the tests using the reentrant c scanner as c++ were reworked
slightly to be sure that the c++ was enforced
** de translation now included in the distribution
** various portability fixes regarding nls support, c++ include
headers, etc.
* version 2.5.13 released 2002-8-15
** the header file output with %option header is now much smaller
** Fixed type mismatch in printf in scanner skeleton
** yylex_init now reports errors
* version 2.5.12 released 2002-8-8
** updated gettext support to 0.11.5
** new fr translation from the translation project
** bison is no longer needed to build flex; If you are building flex
from a release (i.e., not from a cvs snapshot), then you don't need
to have a pre-built lex around either (unless you modify scan.l, of
course); (This has been true for some time, but was not mentioned
* version 2.5.11 released 2002-7-31
** Fixed bug where yyless did not consider yylineno
** the yylineno performance hit is now gone
** fixed some typos in the manual and we now include texinfo.tex in
the distribution
** traditional prototypes output for C scanners, controlled by a
preprocessor symbol; see documentation for details
* version 2.5.10 released 2002-7-24
** yy_globals renamed to yyscanner and yy_globals_t renamed to
** added dist-bzip2 option to so we now produce a bzip2'd
archive in addition to the standard gzip archive
* version 2.5.9
** new tests in test suite: test-mem-{nr,r}, test-posix,
test-posixly-correct, test-debug-{nr,r}
** made changes to work with gcc-3.2 development code
** ability to choose which memory functions are used in flex
** new yylex_destroy() function for the non-reentrant scanner
** new handling of POSIXLY_CORRECT environment variable
** the test suite now has its copyrights explicitly described
** new ca, de, fr, ru, sv, tr translations
* version 2.5.8
** a new --posix option generates scanners with posix-style abc{1,3}
compatible parsing, see manual for the screwy details
* version 2.5.7
** now includes a call to AC_PREREQ to enforce the
requirement for autoconf at least 2.50 (This only effects you if
you're doing flex development.)
** configure now uses autoconf's versioning information and configure
--help reports the bug-reporting address for flex
** test suite now only reports success versus failure; reporting
skipped is problematic under the current setup
** compilation with --disable-nls now works
** flex can now be built in a separate directory
* version 2.5.6
** gettext support added (from gettext 0.11)
*** translations for ca, da, de, es, fr, ko, ru, sv, tr included
** distribution now built under automake 1.6 and autoconf 2.53
** command-line option parsing happens differently now:
*** Added long option parsing
*** Options -n and -c, previously deprecated, now simply do nothing
*** Options are now parsed left to right
** added a number of new options
*** All positive %options are now accessible from the command line
*** Added option -D, to define a preprocessor symbol
*** Added option --header=FILE to specify a C .h file to generate
*** added option --yywrap to call yywrap on EOF
*** added option --yylineno to track line count in yylineno
*** --yyclass=NAME name of C++ class when generating c++ scanners
*** for long option names which are associated with existing short
options, see accompanying documentation
*** new %option nounistd or command-line --nounistd added to prevent
flex from generating #include <unistd.h> on systems that don't
have that include file
** Support for reentrant C scanners has been added
*** Updated the manual with the new reentrant API
*** Two new options %option reentrant (-R) and
%option reentrant-bison (-Rb)
*** All globals optionally placed into struct yyglobals_t
*** All access to globals replaced by macro invocations
*** All functions optionally take one additional
argument, yy_globals
*** New style for invoking reentrant scanner:
yylex_init(void** scanner );
yylex( scanner );
yylex_destroy( scanner );
*** Added get/set functions for members of struct yy_globals_t
e.g., yyget_text, yyget_leng, etc
*** Prefix substitution added for new functions
*** Macro shortcuts to the lengthy get/set functions
provided for use in actions, e.g., yytext, yyleng, etc
*** Arbitrary, user-defined data, "yyextra", may be added to scanner
** %option nomain no longer implies %option yywrap
But the inverse is still true
** Developer test suite added
*** TESTS/ directory has been added. Users can
'make test' in the TESTS directory to execute the test suite
** Support for bison variables yylval and yylloc added
** automake support for the build process
** manual is now in texinfo/info format
*** flex.1 removed from distribution
** flex no longer generates C-language scanners with C++-style
** flex now generates scanners in c++ which are compatible with
recent c++ compilers
** flex input scanner now recognizes '\r' as an EOL character
See the file ONEWS for changes in earlier releases.
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