Question from Bison's maintainer on the D backend

Andrei Alexandrescu SeeWebsiteForEmail at
Sun Nov 18 15:56:47 UTC 2018

Hello, Akim Demaille, the maintainer of the famed GNU Bison parser 
generator, reached out to me with the following (published with his accord):

I’m the maintainer of GNU Bison, which is a parser generator for C/C++ 
and Java.  A few years ago someone contributed a D backend for Bison, 
but at that time, the investment in Bison was low.  Now I’m spending 
time on it, and Richard Stallman asked me to contact the « D community » 
to know whether there would be interest for such a backend.

Bison is a LALR(1), LR(1), IELR(1) and GLR parser generator.  It’s based 
on ye olde yacc, by it features several interesting properties.

Of course the D world already features several parser generators, some 
being even embedded in the language and benefiting from compile time 
function evaluation.  So it’s very unclear to me if Bison would get some 

What would you think about that?

I wrote back that Bison is currently much more sophisticated than the 
present alternatives in the D community, and that we'd be interested in 
continued maintenance of the D backend for Bison. Further discussion 

I would say that my first and foremost worry would be to integrate 
something which is not used, and not maintained.  And I am not a D 
programmer, so I would not be able to decide whether his work was good 
or not, have it evolve with Bison and releases of D.

Also, something that somewhat worries me is that the D parser was based 
on the Java parser, not the C++ one.

More thoughts and reports from the community would be helpful. If you 
are a current or former Bison user with the D backend, or if you have an 
interest in contributing reviews and patches for it,  please chime in.



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