Building a parser with Perl

COMPILATION ARTIST

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Lexers and parsers aren’t only for the long-bearded gurus. We’ll show you how you can build a parser for your own custom applications.

Lexers and parsers are everyday tools for compiler designers and inventors of new programming languages. Both lexers and parsers check arbitrarily complex expressions for syntactic validity and help to translate these complex expressions from a human-readable format to a machine language format. Admittedly, having to write your own parser is quite uncommon these days, as data is often XML formatted, and there are enough easy-to-use parsers capable of handling XML data. But if you need to analyze and evaluate formulas entered by users, you have no alternative but to build your own parser.

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