justify use of flex vs lex

swl26@cas.org (Steve Layten x3451)
Mon, 25 Jan 1993 14:48:49 GMT

          From comp.compilers

Related articles
justify use of flex vs lex swl26@cas.org (1993-01-25)
Re: justify use of flex vs lex jbuck@forney.berkeley.edu (1993-01-25)
Re: justify use of flex vs lex zstern@adobe.com (1993-01-26)
Re: justify use of flex vs lex bart@cs.uoregon.edu (1993-01-29)
| List of all articles for this month |

Newsgroups: comp.compilers
From: swl26@cas.org (Steve Layten x3451)
Organization: Compilers Central
Date: Mon, 25 Jan 1993 14:48:49 GMT
Keywords: flex, lex, question, comment

I need to use flex instead of lex for a job I have that exceeds capacities
of some lex features. I want to put this into a "production" job stream,
and our current "standards" seem to discourage use of public-domain code
in production, the standard managment argument being that we should use
vendor-supported code so we don't have to spend time maintaing the code
ourselves. I must justify the use of this "non-supported" code in

I would appreciate hearing comments from this community regarding
arguments for or against the use of flex vs. the vendor-supplied lex.
Some additional considerations which I think are important are:

      Support across multiple platforms/environments - flex can be ported to
      all of the environments we use, and thus we would be sure to have a
      consistent environment.

      Fewer constraints or "limits" built in.

      I believe that support for flex is "better" than most vendors; how many
      in this list would say that UNIX vendors focus much time or effort in
      keeping their "lex" up to date and bug-free?

Feel free to respond via e-mail or to the group. I'll summarize e-mail
esponses if appropriate, so please indicate in any private communication
if you wish that it not become public.

Thank you for your time.

Steve Layten
Steven W. Layten, Senior Engineer
Chemical Abstracts Service, PO Box 3012, Columbus, OH 43210 +1 614 447 3600
INET: swl26@cas.org BITNET: swl26@cas UUCP: osu-cis!chemabs!swl26
[The reality is that lex is still riddled with bugs after over 15 years of
alleged vendor support, while flex is nearly bug-free. When revising
O'Reilly's lex&yacc, I found many lexers needed fiddling to work around lex
bugs, a few I couldn't get to work at all with lex. They all work with flex.

Post a followup to this message

Return to the comp.compilers page.
Search the comp.compilers archives again.