LEXER package

The LEXER package implements a lexical-analyzer-generator called DEFLEXER,
which is built on top of both REGEX and CLAWK. Many of the optimizations in the
recent rewrite of the regex engine went into optimizing the sorts of patterns
generated by DEFLEX.

The default lexer doesn't implement full greediness. If you have a rule for
ints followed by a rule for floats, the int rule will match on the part before
the decimal before the float rule gets a chance to look at it. You can fix this
by specifying :flex-compatible as the first rule. This gives all patterns a
chance to examine the text and takes the one that matches the longest string
(first pattern wins in case of a tie). The down side of this option is that it
slows down the analyser. If you can solve the issue by reordering your rules
that's the way to do it.

I'm currently writing an AWK->CLAWK translator using this as the lexer, and
it's working fine. As far as I can tell, the DEFLEXER-generated lexing
functions should be fast enough for production use.

Currently, the LEX/FLEX/BISON feature of switching productions on and off using
state variables is not supported, but it's a pretty simple feature to add. If
you're using LEXER and discover you need this feature, let me know.

It also doesn't yet support prefix and postfix context patterns. This isn't
quite so trivial to add, but it's planned for a future release of regex, so
LEXER will be getting it someday.

Anyway, Here's a simple DEFLEXER example:

  (deflexer test-lexer
      (return (values 'flt (num %0))))
      (return (values 'int (int %0))))
      (return (values 'name %0)))
    ("[:space:]+") )

  > (setq *lex* (test-lexer "1.0 12 fred 10.23e45"))
  > (funcall *lex*)
  > (funcall *lex*)
  > (funcall *lex*)

  > (funcall *lex*)

  > (funcall *lex*)

You can also write this lexer using the :flex-compatible option, in which case
you can write the int and flt rules in any order.

(deflexer test-lexer
    (return (values 'int (int %0))))
    (return (values 'flt (num %0))))

Kenneth Michael Parker