MOO-cows Mailing List Archive


Re: tofloat()...

>>>>> "Kipp" == Kipp the Kidd <> writes:

    Kipp> At 03:19 PM 7/31/96 -0600, Brandon Gillespie wrote:
    >>> It's always been like this.  Confusing to newbies, not really
    >>> needed, but it takes off a few millionths of a second to
    >>> parse.
    >>  It should be handled in the compiler, not the parser.

    Kipp> I never said parser.  Doesn't 'parse' mean to disassemble
    Kipp> data so that the computer can do something useful with it?

    Kipp> - Kipp

Parse is the verb your English teacher in junior high school *SHOULD*
have used when asking you to diagram a sentence.  To parse a language
is to dismember it and analyze it for its structure only, not is
meaning -- for its syntax, but not its semantics.

Noam Chomsky of MIT developed the approach now known as
"transformational grammers".  He did this in the mid 1950s.  His work
determined that there are 3 types of grammars: finite state grammars,
which are parsable by a finite state machine; non-context sensitive
grammars, like most modern programming languages use, and context
sensitive self embedding grammars, like natural languages.  Chomsky's
work was a forerunner of the theoretical work that resulted in the
Algol language, from which we now get Pascal, C, Ada, Modula, etc.

--------  "And there came a writing to him from Elijah"  [2Ch 21:12]  --------
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