Re: Left brace on a single line -- Question

James Kanze <>
Thu, 10 Apr 2008 02:09:19 -0700 (PDT)
On Apr 10, 5:19 am, stan <> wrote:

James Kanze wrote:


Seriously, I don't think I've used ed much except for very small
editing jobs in a script.

I really think if you had to write a very big program you would save
time writing an editor first:)

On the first Unix system I worked on, they had just finished
modifying the OS and the compiler, in order to be able to handle
programs as big as vi. Just to not have to use ed. The early
Intel editor I used ran on an 8 bit machine with 64 KB, using a
teletype as the console. In such an environment, it's hard to
do better than ed.

(FWIW: vi was the first full screen editor I ever used. Before
that, they were all command line editors, like ed.)


I've never found the vim help files terribly intuitive, what
does the actual vi help look like?

What help? There is no on line help.

AFAIK there's no actual open vi, is that correct?

I think there was, at one time. But why bother? If you're
going to compile and install your own, you might as well make it
vim (or emacs). (Our production machines are Sun Sparcs,
running Solaris, and the only installed editors are those that
are bundled with Solaris. Which means the pure Berkley vi, just
as Bill Joy wrote it, when he was still a grad student, and
hadn't helped found Sun.)

I read that it's real hard/impossible to create a LALR or even
yacc compatible grammer for c or c++.

That's actually true for a lot of languages---even Pascal. The
C/C++ declaration syntax, however, seems to be designed
intentionally to make parsing difficult.

I'm pretty comfortable with yacc/bison and flex and I've done
many little language things so I have some feeling for working
on front ends. However the urge to simply write a c or c++
front end never really bubbled up to the top of my todo list.

A C front end wouldn't be too difficult, despite the ambiguities
in the declaration syntax. C++ probably requires backtracking.
Still, I don't think it would be that difficult to get to the
stage of building a parse tree. The real fun would start when
you start to annotate it. Then comes name look up, function
overload resolution, and templates.

James Kanze (GABI Software)
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