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Dave Prosser's C Preprocessing Algorithm

For about five years I've been trying to implement a fully conforming C preprocessor for the front end of the CScout refactoring browser. I've found this to be a fiendishly difficult task. Although what I have written can correctly process million-line real-life projects, every once in a while I come across a construct that confuses my implementation. While searching the web for explanations of some of the finer points of the C standard I came across a reference to an algorithm by Dave Prosser that the X3J11 (ANSI C standard) committee used as a basis for the standard's wording.

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Interoperability Requires Temperance

After testing the CScout refactoring browser on the FreeBSD kernel, I decided to try it on Linux. I'm getting there, but slowly, and the reason is the gratuitous use of gcc extensions made in the Linux kernel source code. Every time I come across a program construct that CScout doesn't grok, I have to study the C standards to see if the construct is legal C that CScout fails to implement or a gcc extension. Extensions are trouble, because, they're typically only vaguely documented.

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Batch Files as Shell Scripts

Although the Unix Bourne shell offers a superb environment for combining existing commands into sophisticated programs, using a Unix shell as an interactive command environment under Windows can be painful.

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Creative Commons License Last update: Friday, September 15, 2017 9:54 pm
Unless otherwise expressly stated, all original material on this page created by Diomidis Spinellis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Greece License.