Re: AT&T lex port (John S. Dyson)
22 Oct 2000 01:10:24 -0400

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From: (John S. Dyson)
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 22 Oct 2000 01:10:24 -0400
References: 00-10-145
Keywords: lex (Jason Brink) writes:
> Does anyone know of a port of AT&T lex to Windows NT/2000 or Linux? I
> know flex is better than AT&T lex, but I'm currently doing a co-op
> term and working on a large project, which runs on Solaris, HP-UX,
> AIX, etc. All those systems have AT&T lex, and so that is what the
> lexers in the project were written for. Now we would like to port it
> over to Windows 2000 and Linux. I've tried using flex on some of our
> lexers, and then compiling the generated code, and there are lots of
> problems. Any help would be appreciated!
> Jason Brink
> [I don't think that AT&T lex has ever been freed from the onerous
> System V source license. Having seen the source code, I can say that
> it's some of the ugliest C code I've ever seen. -John]

I *strongly* suggest porting FLEX or an equivalent clone, rather than
using AT&T LEX. Even if one has to port FLEX to all of the target
platforms, I think that the effort of porting will be nil.

This is just FWIW, and only a personal and kindly meant opinion.

[I entirely agree. AT&T lex is slow and buggy. An entirely reasonable
approach is to run the lexer through flex once, then port the generated
C code, since flex writes rather good portable code. -John]

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