Chapter 1: Introduction

Bisonc++ is a general-purpose parser generator converting grammar descriptions for LALR(1) context-free grammars into C++ classes whose members can parse such grammars. Once you are a proficient bisonc++ user, you may use it to develop a wide range of language parsers, from those used in simple desk calculators to complex programming languages.

Bisonc++ is highly comparable to the program bison++, written by Alain Coetmeur: all properly-written bison++ grammars ought to be convertible to bisonc++ grammars requiring very little or no modifications. Anyone familiar with bison++ or its precursor, bison, should quickly be able to use bisonc++ as well. Bisonc++ generates C++ code, rather than C code, and so a fair knowledge of the C++ programming language is required before bisonc++ can profitably be used.

This manual closely resembles bison(1)'s userguide. In fact, many sections of that manual were copied straight into this manual. With bisonc++ distributions (both the full source distribution and the binary .deb distributions) bison's orginal manual is included in both PostScript and (converted from the texi format) HTML format. Where necessary sections of the original manual were adapted to bisonc++'s characteristics. Some sections were removed, and some new sections were added to the current manual. Expect upgrades of the manual to appear without further notice. Upgrades will be announced in the manual's title.

The current manual starts with tutorial chapters that explain the basic concepts of using bisonc++ and use three examples illustrating some of the core issues of LALR(1) grammars, each example building on the previous example (where available). If you don't know bisonc++, bison++ or bison, start by reading these chapters. Reference chapters follow describing specific aspects of bisonc++ in detail.

Bisonc++ was designed and built by Frank B. Brokken. The program's first version was constructed between November 2004 and May 2005.

1.1: What's new in version 5.03.00

If you're new to bisonc++, you can safely skip this section. If you used bisonc++ before, please note the following new and modified features: