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The Definitive ANTLR Reference: Building Domain-Specific Languages


There’s a lot of interest in Domain-specific languages these days, and for good reason. Domain-specific languages (DSLs) represent a more natural, high fidelity, robust, and maintainable means of encoding a problem than simply writing software in a general-purpose language. For example, NASA uses domain-specific command languages for space missions to improve reliability, reduce risk, reduce cost, and increase the speed of development. Even the first Apollo guidance control computer from the 1960s used a domain-specific language that supported vector computations.

In The Definitive ANTLR Reference: Building Domain-Specific Languages (Pragmatic Bookshelf, US$36.95, 0-9787392-5-6), author Terence Parr shows how to use the brand new, latest version of ANTLR to create DSLs, convert text formats, and more.

ANTLR is a parser generator: a program that generates code to translate a specified input language into a nice, tidy data structure. While that might sound exotic, it’s much more down to earth than that. Terence explains, “You might think that parser generators are only used to build compilers. But in fact, programmers use parser generators to build translators and interpreters for all sorts of things, including proprietary data formats, common network protocols, text processing languages, and domain-specific programming languages.”

ANTLR v3 is the most powerful, easy-to-use parser generator built to date, and represents the culmination of more than 15 years of research by Dr. Parr. This book is the essential reference guide to using this completely rebuilt version of ANTLR, with its amazing new LL(*) parsing technology, tree construction facilities, StringTemplate code generation template engine, and sophisticated ANTLRWorks GUI development environment.

You’ll learn all about ANTLR grammar syntax, resolving grammar ambiguities, parser fault tolerance and error reporting, embedding actions to interpret or translate languages, building intermediate-form trees, extracting information from trees, generating source code, and how to use the ANTLR Java API.

Reviewer Praise

The Definitive ANTLR Reference deserves a place in the bookshelf of anyone who ever has to parse or translate text. ANTLR is not just for language designers any more.

Bob McWhirter, Founder of the JBoss Rules Project,

Book Information

Cover Image For The Definitive ANTLR Reference…

The Definitive ANTLR Reference

Building Domain-Specific Languages

by Terence Parr

ISBN: 9780978739256, 384 pages, $36.95US, $48.95CA, 7.5×9.

Pragmatic Bookshelf Titles are distributed to bookstores internationally by O’Reilly Media.

Additional Resources

Sample chapters, table of contents, and more information is available on the book’s home page.

About Pragmatic Bookshelf

The Pragmatic Bookshelf features books written by professional developers for professional developers. The titles continue the well-known Pragmatic Programmer style, and continue to garner awards and rave reviews. As development gets more and more difficult, the Pragmatic Programmers will be there with more titles and products to help programmers stay on top of their game.


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