Llun: a high-level debugger for generated parsers

Glass, S.; Ince, D. and Fergus, E. (2001). Llun: a high-level debugger for generated parsers. Software Practice and Experience, 31(10) pp. 983–1001.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/spe.397


Parser generators such as yacc have been used in a large number of applications, not just those that involve compiler writing. This has meant that these tools are being used increasingly by nonspecialist developers. A consequence of this is that good support is required for debugging a grammar and its generated parser(s). This paper describes Llun, a debugging tool that visualizes the operation of a generated parser at both a high-level and a low-level. Llun is superior to other parser visualization products by virtue of the high-level facilities it offers. The paper describes some of the problems encountered using parser generators, outlines a visualization system which addresses a number of the problems and uses a taxonomy developed by Price to categorize the system.

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